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What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Mediation: The parties to the dispute retain the right to decide whether or not to agree to a settlement. The mediator has no power to impose a resolution, other than the power of persuasion. All settlements reached at JdR through mediation are memorialized in a written settlement agreement.

Arbitration: The parties give the power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator. Evidence and argument is considered and a written arbitration award issued. The process can be as formal or informal as the parties’ desire.

What are the advantages of mediation/arbitration over a public trial?

Resolution of civil disputes through arbitration or mediation is private, less expensive and more efficient than trial in the courthouse.

What percentage of cases does JdR mediate? Arbitrate?

We mediate about 80-85% of our cases and arbitrate about 10-12% of our cases.

In mediations, should lawyers exchange copies of the materials submitted to the mediator?

Generally, the preferred practice is to exchange materials with the other side, unless to do so would reveal confidential information or trial strategy. If this is the case, a general outline of position could be exchanged with the other side. The more specific information could be communicated in confidence to the mediator by phone call or letter under separate cover.

In mediations, should we have a joint session?

If the decision makers have not met, it is usually a good idea to have a joint session so everyone can say hello. If matters of substance are to be discussed, they should be limited to items which will assist in the settlement of the case. Matters likely to inflame the other side are best discussed in private, rather than during joint caucus.

In an arbitration, what do we do if we can’t even agree on a date for the hearing?

Telephone the staff at JdR and they will arrange for a conference call with your panelist during which all pre-hearing matters will be addressed and resolved. If you can’t even agree on a panelist, our rules have a procedure for the appointment of one.

Will panelists travel to my location?

  • Although JdR has its own, well designed facility, panelists are willing to travel to your office or any other agreed location to conduct mediations and arbitrations. Consider this option when scheduling.
  • Fees vary based on location and travel time.