adrWest Valley Law Firm Assisting Clients Navigate the ADR Process

Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is simply a process that acts as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement short of litigation. ADR assists parties by involving an intermediate, neutral third party in lieu of a judge. This third party facilitates dialogue and communication between the parties, assists with keeping the parties calm and rational, and helps the parties explore various options and compromises. The ADR facilitator is not the lawyer of either of the parties, though a mediator is commonly a licensed attorney. Rather, the ADR facilitator works for both parties and is therefore not likely to be biased against any party.

ADR typically consists of mediation or arbitration. As courts are flooded with increased caseload, ADR has several advantages over litigation. For instance, ADR imposes fewer costs than trial, contains an air of confidentiality over any agreement reached, and allows the parties to have greater control over the selection of the individual(s) who will decide the dispute. Monahan Law Firm’s ability and commitment to resolving matters in lieu of trial provides a significant benefit to individuals and companies at both sides of the table.

What Is Arbitration?

Alternative Dispute Resolution provides alternatives to trial. One such alternative is arbitration. Arbitration is only available to parties under two circumstances: (1) the contract mandates arbitration or (2) the parties agree to arbitration once a conflict arises. The former is the more common reason for arbitration. Often, contracts or agreements will include a provision that states that the parties agree to arbitrate any and all disputes.

Arbitration varies in format. Usually, though, if the contract requires arbitration, the party with the issue will serve a Notice of Intent on the other party. The Notice of Intent lists the issue(s) and that party’s desire to arbitrate to resolve the problem. The defendant is then given time to respond to the Notice of Intent. The defendant can simply concede and give the plaintiff what is requested. However, more often, the parties proceed to arbitrate. First, the parties must select someone to arbitrate the case. This individual is commonly an experienced lawyer. The arbitrator is the factfinder. He controls the presentation of evidence and dictates the ultimate finding. The parties will present their arguments and evidence to this neutral factfinder, and like a judge, the arbitrator will rule on the issue, finding in favor of one of the parties and then dictating damages, if any.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is another form of ADR and is similar to arbitration but with several notable differences. Like arbitration, the contract usually calls for mediation. In addition, the mediator is an independent and impartial third party who is often a lawyer. Finally, mediation can cut down on the costs and time spent litigating the issue in court.

However, unlike arbitration, mediation places the decision making power in the hands of the parties. The mediator cannot decide for the parties. Instead, the mediator facilitates compromise. The mediator will offer solutions, present offers to each side, keep the parties focused on resolution and not conflict, and assist with negotiating.

Arbitration and Mediation Services in Phoenix, Arizona

Monahan Law Firm, PLC provides ADR assistance to parties, including arbitration and mediation. We are skilled in negotiations and helping parties with understanding issues and viewpoints, putting emotions aside, and finding common ground. We serve the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Avondale, Buckeye, Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Sun City, Surprise, Tempe, and all of Maricopa County.  To schedule an arbitration or mediation with Monahan Law Firm, call us today at (623) 385-3190.