Arbitration & ADR Lawyers
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to the various methods of resolving disputes outside of court. These methods include arbitration, mediation, evaluations, conciliation, negotiation, and settlement. ADR lawyers use it as not only an alternative to litigation, but as a part of any litigation strategy.
ADR is an important step in resolving litigation. Whenever there is a bona fide dispute, mediation will almost certainly play a role. Many judges actually require parties to make a good faith effort at ADR before they will set a matter for trial. Furthermore, Judges will usually look very favorably upon fairly conducted ADR procedures. ADR are procedures that take place outside of the courtroom at the convenience of both parties. Whenever there is a bona fide dispute,
Arbitration is a type of ADR that is very similar to a real trial. The arbitrator, who is usually a lawyer, will impartially hear the case just like a judge. The parties present their case to the arbitrator who then makes an independent decision on the case. Unlike mediation, the parties do not have to consent to the arbitrator’s decision.
ADR can be voluntary/contractual, or judge ordered. Though it may take place outside of a court, Alternative Dispute Resolution may impact your legal rights. Therefore, it is always wise to hire an attorney for an ADR situation.
If you have a business or real estate contract, you probably have an ADR clause within the contract. Often, these ADR clauses make sense because Alternative Dispute Resolution and mediation can be much quick and more inexpensive than a court proceeding. However, ADR can be very unfavorable in situations of unequal bargaining power, and one side dominates the terms of the contract, leaving the other side with little or no say in the matter.
If you are drafting a contract, it may make sense to insert an ADR clause. Alternative Dispute Resolution is something that can be pre-planned in your contracts. Before you sign a contract, you can get the other party to agree to arbitrate any issues, thus saving you time and money from the beginning.
Some contracts will specify that any disputes are to be resolved with ADR before going to court. While this often makes sense, you cannot contract away your right to sue in court. If you were strong-armed into agreeing to use Alternative Dispute Resolution, you may not have to use ADR.
Just because dispute resolution isn’t technically in court, you will still want legal representation from a top New York commercial litigation law firm for several reasons. First, since there isn’t a judge to manage the proceedings, you need somebody to make sure everything is fair. Second, courts will often look very favorably upon ADR resolutions in making any later decisions. The result of ADR can have dramatic effect if the action winds up in court later.
ADR should be treated as seriously as a real trial and our attorneys can do the hard work necessary to help you prevail.