Why Mediation or Arbitration? Even the most casual observer of the legal system is aware of the problems participants face. Courts are often overburdened and understaffed. The Covid-19 epidemic worsened an already existing backlog. As a result, litigants who wish to resolve their issues can face prolonged, expensive battles that drain resources and may not lead to satisfactory resolutions. Everyone deserves better. For a recent example, Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen decided on mediation to keep matters confidential, less expensive, and quicker. That is why I have decided to focus on alternative dispute resolutions (ADR). I recently completed a 40-hour mediation/arbitration training class with the Illinois State Bar Association. I believe that this approach will relieve pressure on the judicial system, reduce client costs and lead to settlements which both parties will feel is fair and just. As a party, you get to participate in the final outcome of the case. You get to take part in the outcome rather than a Judge.
A Mediation or Arbitration Agreement will be entered in to set the terms and conditions of the mediation or arbitration. The Mediator will not give legal advice, and the parties will be represented by their respective Attorneys. The Attorneys will prepare a Stipulation document of any Mediation Agreements. A Mediation or Arbitration document will be requested from each of the parties showing the issues, positions on the issues, and offers to settle the matter. Each parties' Attorney will complete this document. It should be prepared and provided to the Mediation/Arbitrator at least ten days prior to the Mediation session. As a Mediator, I will be impartial and neutral and remain neutral, but I will employ measures to frame the issues for the parties to become aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their case. All parties must be open and honest during the sessions. If desirable, the discussion may be confidential. In all cases, the person with the ultimate settlement authority must be present during the mediation or immediately available by telephone. The most recent settlement offer by the offering party must be disclosed at the beginning of the Mediation.
My diverse experiences in the legal profession in three different States and all types of Civil cases have qualified me to oversee mediation proceedings. These cases have sought damages ranging from $20.00 to $20 million dollars.
At the end of the day, I believe that faithful adherence to principles and fundamental fairness will resolve your dispute and reduce your litigation costs. Given the opportunity, I can do this for you as a neutral party representing both sides. Now, be aware that you will not "hit a home run" and get 100% of your requests, but you will end up in a fair position that you have accepted.