Alternative Law Mediation Results Systems are designed to work in conjunction with local, national law firms, and legal departments to settle disputes at any stage of the legal process.
We design multiple options for lawyers for effective strategic assistance for dispute resolution, inside or outside of a courtroom.
Remember our company is about satisfaction and results. Results for you, results for your clients and results for your firm.
Alternative Law has degreed mediators who are required to practice their profession on a full time basis. Their experience, training, and knowledge helps make us some of the leading experts in this field. Unlike some other firms, Alternative Law’s mediators are required to have substantive and statutory knowledge along with excellent process and communication skills. These qualifications allow us to settle some of the most difficult cases and resolve long lasting and bitter disputes. An additional component of our practice is re-mediate complex cases that have failed at other mediation firms. This is another area where our Best Ideas Win mediation program and techniques have a powerful impact in producing mediation results for you.
Another distinguishing characteristic about our firm, which separates us from the rest, is our satisfaction guarantee. Sometimes in very complicated cases when you evaluating a different mediation firm may present some new challenges. We eliminate all uncertainty for you and have the references to support both our theories and practice. It is our goal to insure that you and your clients will be completely satisfied with our firm’s services. If you or your clients are not completely satisfied, for whatever reason we offer the industry’s leading safety net, a money back guarantee, -plain and simple.
MULTIPLE MEDIATION PROCESSES
- ‘BEST IDEAS WIN’ MEDIATION
- FACILITATIVE MEDIATION
- TRANSFORMATIVE MEDIATION
- EVALUATIVE MEDIATION
- NEUTRAL EVALUATION
- SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES
- NEGOTIATION PLANNING
- ‘BEST IDEAS WIN’ NEGOTIATION
- STRATEGIC NEGOTIATION
- WINNER TAKE ALL NEGOTIATION
- SUMMARY JURY TRIAL
- NEUTRAL EXPERT FACT-FINDING
- COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL MASTERS/
- JUDGING PROCESSES
- HIGH LOW ARBITRATION
- FINAL OFFER ARBITRATION
- PRIVATE JUDGING
- MEDIATION-ARBITRATION (MED-ARB)
- ADR SYTEMS DESIGN
- ADR PREVENTION PLANS
At ALTERNATIVE LAW, clients are assisted by expert, professional neutrals (mediators,arbitrators, professors, and attorneys) who use a full range of the latest, most advanced and most tested dispute resolution processes between direct negotiation and litigation to achieve resolution.
In DIRECT NEGOTIATION the parties collectively retain complete formal and informal control over the process and its outcome including:
The process begins by setting ground rules and the agenda
The selection of the neutral
The place and timing of the negotiation
Use of their own negotiation styles and strategies
When and how they communicate, listen and convey reactions
Whether to obtain outside information, comment,or feedback and if so,whether to introduce it
The decision to end the process at any time
The ability to discuss, agree upon issues and solutions that need not relate directly to the subject matter of the dispute
The acceptance of an outcome mutually agreed upon .
In INDIRECT NEGOTIATION all offers are passed through to the neutral so that the parties do not have to engage in meetings or direct contact.
In LITIGATION, the parties have minimal control over process or outcome:
The court or authority retains ultimate authority, interpreting and applying the rules of civil litigation and the parties have very limited
The court sets discovery deadlines, conference dates and trial dates
The neutral decision-maker is determined by the court, state or government.
The rules of trial practice and evidence in the presentation of the case must be followed in each particular state or Federal Civil procedure
The parties are bound to the facts found and decisions made by only one decision maker the judge and or jury who never actually participated in the circumstance,
subject to limited right of appeal though the local or federal systems.
Only certain forms of remedies are available–usually an award of money damages or limited injunctive relief, no participation in shaping outcome.
THE ALTERNATIVE LAW ADR SYSTEMS
In Mediation Processes, a third party neutral works to facilitate a negotiated settlement between the parties. The mediator facilitates the negotiations and evaluates the relative merits of the claims and defenses. The neutral does not have power to impose a solution or decision-the parties retain ultimate control over the outcome. The terms of the agreement are limited only by the interests and creativity of the parties and the neutral. By agreement and permission of the parties, the neutral sets the ground rules and may seriously affect the order of the proceedings, the parties’ collective and individual analyses and the general dynamic of the settlement discussion.
Facilitative Mediation is a process in which outcome control remains almost entirely in the hands of the parties and counsel. The mediator restores communication, in effects rsets the bargaining table and helps to create realistic alternatives and options for resolution by:
Ensuring that all relevant information is exchanged and heard by the parties or confirms that there is a good reason why it isn’t being exchanged
Providing parties the ability to vent to each other and to a neutral
Strategically coaching negotiators on next moves
Helping parties invent settlement options, using custom Best Ideas Win approach.
Creating or transmitting offers and demands
Overcome potential impasses through systematic approach tailored to dispute Resolution not litigation
Evaluative mediation occurs when the mediator creates more structure and injects his or her own view or prediction of the trial outcome. It is often used for more difficult cases, where the gap between the parties is large, the issues somewhat complex and the stakes high. The mediator allows the parties to test the reality of their predicted outcomes by:
Working to thoroughly understand the parties’ factual and legal arguments
Providing feedback on the relative merits of claims and defenses
Offering his or her prediction of the outcome in court
In some circumstances, recommending settlement ranges
Neutral evaluation is a non-binding process in which the parties retain a neutral to provide an evaluation based solely on the merits of the case. The neutral:
Reviews the factual and legal positions of the parties either through briefs/ oral arguments
Evaluates what the likely jury outcome might be
Provides his or her view of the likely/fair results
is not retained to facilitate the parties negotiations
Settlement conference is a simple, evaluative mediation frequently used in uncomplicated cases, where the parties are often not present and the neutral is an expert mediator, arbitrator, professor, who:
Reviews the cases with the parties and after a discussion of the facts and issues, suggests a settlement number or range
Mini trial is a highly structured, formalized and evaluative mediation process in which the parties cede a great deal of procedural control in order to reframe the dispute from the context of litigation to the context of a business problem. It requires the participation of non-legal party representatives with settlement authority who sit as a panel with the neutral. The neutral advisor:
Works closely with the parties before the hearing to facilitate agreement on procedure and resolve disputes
Oversees the panel of senior business officers
moderates the mini-trial hearing and then provides an evaluation if necessary
Facilitates settlement between the parties after rendering his or her evaluation
SUMMARY JURY TRIAL
Summary Jury Trial is also a highly structured, formalized and evaluative meditation process in which a private “jury pool” is assembled to hear the case. The neutral advisor:
sets up and presides over the process
Oversees a mediation/negotiation period following the procedure to get agreement on settlement terms
Non-binding arbitration is a hearing process that looks and feels like arbitration, but is advisory, not binding. The neutral advisor(s):
Coordinates, sets up and presides over the process
Reviews the factual and legal positions of the parties through briefs or oral arguments
Evaluates what the likely arbitration outcome might be
NEUTRAL EXPERT FACT-FINDING
Neutral expert fact-finding can be a stand-alone, non-binding process, or it can be part of a larger non-binding process. It is used to help resolve a disputed technical issue. The neutral:
Finds facts and provides analysis after hearing presentations by the parties, and their experts
Acts as a substitute for partisan experts
Can conduct an independent investigation into the technical facts and issues.
COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL MASTERS/DISCOVERY MASTERS
Court Appointed Special Masters/Discovery Masters are appointed by sitting judges to assist with disputes that are legally or administratively complex. Discovery Masters are selected by the parties rather than appointed. The Special Master or Discovery Master:
Assists in designing case settlement options
May mediate the cases or groups of cases for mass torts
Mediates discovery disputes
Makes rulings on discovery issues that can’t be resolved
In Adjudicative Processes, a third party neutral is brought in to hear and consider facts and/or arguments presented by the plaintiff and defendant, and to render a reasoned binding decision or solution based upon an agreed upon standard of legality or fairness. The neutral’s role is to issue a solution for the parties, not to help them reach an agreed-upon solution to their dispute.
Arbitration, long used as an alternative to litigation in commercial disputes and labor disputes, offers less formal procedures, abbreviated presentations and the undivided attention of the neutral(s). The arbitrator(s):
Rules on discovery requests and disputes
Determines whether to apply rules of evidence and to what degree
Hears expert witnesses and cross examinations
Reviews briefs, documents and other exhibits
Entertains argument by counsel before rendering a decision
Administers arbitration according to the JAMS Rules and Procedures for Arbitrations
HIGH LOW ARBITRATION
High-Low arbitration also sometimes known as bracketed arbitration occurs when the parties structure an agreement to “bracket” or limit the possible range of outcomes. The parties may agree that the arbitrator:
Will decide only the issue of liability with predetermined sums to be paid by the defendant or plaintiff accordingly
Delivers a verdict on liability and damages while agreeing in advance on minimum and maximum payment sums
Is not told the high low range, in effect creating “blind high low” arbitration
FINAL OFFER ARBITRATION
Final offer arbitration, used in the sport of “baseball” occurs when the plaintiff and the defendant each separately submit a “final offer” to the arbitrator. The arbitrator:
Chooses an appropriate settlement between the offer or the demand presented based upon the settlement heard.
Private judging a private trial conducted by an expert is most similar to a conventional trial in that judgment may be appealed for errors of law, or as against the weight of the evidence. The neutral:
Is selected by the parties, often because he or she has the necessary expertise for highly complex or technical issues
Is asked to try the issues in a case and to make findings of law or fact
enters a decision as a judgment which will become a matter of public record
offers parties the flexibility to exert some control over the timing of the resolution of their dispute
Med-Arb offers parties the ability to participate in a mediation having agreed in advance that if unable to reach a settlement, the process will shift to an arbitration. The neutral:
Can serve as both mediator and arbitrator in an “integrated” process, acting to facilitate negotiations and also making binding decisions on stalemated issues along the way
in a “separate” process will attempt to achieve a mediated settlement before changing roles” to decide any unresolved issues
Acts as either the mediator or the arbitrator but not both in a Med/Arb- Opt Out
makes a binding settlement decision between the final offer or final demand given in a Final
Occurs when each party makes an offer and the arbitrator decided which one to take.
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