Mediation and Arbitration
For years, I have offered mediation and arbitration services to my clients. I have served as advocate in numberous mediation proceedings during my career. I have acted as both private and court-appointed mediator in civil matters. I have completed formal mediator training through Henning Mediation & Arbitration Services, Inc., a nationally-recognized mediation training firm, and am registered and qualified to conduct mediations as part of court-referred or court-annexed civil proceedings in Georgia. Mediation and/or arbitration proceedings have advantages over litigation as forms of dispute resolution. They can save clients considerable money, resolve disputes in a more amicable and private fashion, and accomplish goals that litigation alone may not be able to meet.
- J. Patrick McCrary, November 2011
Mediation: Mediation is essentially structured negotiation through a third-party facilitator or "mediator." The mediator serves as a neutral, and does not make decisions for the parties, but only helps guide them in deriving a solution that is mutually beneficial, and mutually acceptable, to both parties. Mediation proceedings are absolutely confidential (with a few basic exceptions), allowing the parties a safe and open forum for discussing what they want and need in the course of resolving their controversies.
Arbitration: Arbitration is another alternative dispute resolution device, whereby the parties hire a third-party decision-maker, or "arbitrator," to resolve their disputes for them if negotiation and/or mediation fail. The arbitrator essentially serves as a judge of sorts. He or she hears the parties' evidence and legal arguments and then hands down a decision as a judge would in court. Expensive, and potentially very public, jury trials are avoided. The rules of evidence and rules of procedure as would apply in court are usually relaxed in arbitration. The parties can agree in advance that the arbitrator's decision will be binding or non-binding.
Mediation and arbitration do not always work to resolve disputes, and there are cost factors associated with both types of proceedings. But, they can be very useful to clients for whom traditional litigation would be inappropriate, for one reason or the other.
Let us represent you in mediation or arbitration as your advocate, or hire us to mediate your disputes. We soon also hope to be able to offer services as arbitrator in court-referred proceedings.