We've answered some of our most frequently asked questions below.
If you don't see the answer to your question, feel free to contact us with your inquiry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mediation is a non-binding voluntary settlement process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) facilitates communication and negotiation between the parties. Mediation can preserve relationships and can help build a positive framework for future interactions based upon mutual interest so similar problems can be resolved in the future. Mediation poses no risk since no one can force a decision on them. A mediator has no authority to force a settlement on the parties. Instead the mediator helps the parties try to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. A mediator will not disclose any information to the opposing side without consent. If a settlement cannot be reached, the parties are free to pursue other legal remedies.
At the mediation the parties will often gather in a joint session with the mediator. The parties have the opportunity to give a short and informal summary of their case. This allows the party and the mediator an opportunity to gain an understanding of each side's position.
After the joint session, or in matters where the joint session is waived, the parties then separate into caucuses. Once the parties are separated, the mediator typically moves back and forth several times between the caucuses. The mediator gains knowledge or facts that can help facilitate a settlement. The mediator can explore many avenues to a solution that may not have been considered without the private caucuses. The mediator is in a better position to understand the conflict and each party's position, and to assist the parties to be more creative in resolving the conflict.
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution whereby a dispute between two or more parties is resolved by an impartial person(s), known as an arbitrator. It is designed to be a prompt, less formal, and inexpensive way of resolving disputes.
Parties have a full and equal opportunity at the hearing to present any material and relevant evidence and the hearing is private and confidential to the extent allowed by law. The arbitrator may require witnesses to the extent allowed by law.
Tensions, emotions, or transaction costs are running high
Communication between the parties has broken down
Multiple issues have to be resolved
The parties want or need to maintain some ongoing relationship
There is no need to establish precedent and there is no single 'right' solution
- Take some time to prepare before sitting down at the table
- Understand their own case and be prepared to communicate with neutrals and other participants
- Briefly assess their interests, wants, needs and expectations
- Assess adversaries' interests and expectations
Mediation and arbitration have proven themselves to sometimes be a more fulfilling process than litigation. In litigation there is always a losing party, where in mediation and arbitration, the parties have a chance to have their opinions voiced throughout the entire dispute process which leaves a much higher chance of both parties walking away satisfied.
Mediation and arbitration can also be a lot more affordable than the litigation process.
One of the primary advantages of having an arbitration or mediator is the ability to choose a decision maker with expertise that mirrors the nature of the dispute. Before choosing an arbitrator or mediator you must do some groundwork to make sure you choose the best neutral for your case. Be sure to check out our neutrals and their areas of competence to find the best fit for you.
Aequitas does not charge an administrative fee if a case is withdrawn before an arbitration hearing or mediation session has been scheduled. However, if a case settles or is withdrawn after Aequitas has confirmed a date with the parties, Aequitas will be entitled to its administrative fee and the neutral is entitled to a minimum (2) two-hour cancellation charge and/or may bill for any time actually spent on the case. A case that has been scheduled for more than one day which is cancelled, settled or withdrawn within ten (10) business days of the confirmed date will be assessed a minimum (4) four-hour cancellation charge for the neutral in addition to any time actually incurred by the neutral and the administrative fee.
All fees and expenses will be split between the parties or paid as otherwise agreed. Alaris may require the parties to deposit such sums of money as deemed necessary to cover the expense of the proceeding, including the neutral's compensation and shall render an accounting to the parties at the conclusion of the matter, returning any balance due, if applicable. Otherwise, Alaris will bill the parties at the conclusion of the proceedings, and if requested will bill for said services in accordance with any agreement reached by the parties with respect to apportionment of said fees. Notwithstanding such agreement nothing therein shall be construed to relieve the parties and/or their attorneys/representative from the liability to Alaris in accordance with the executed Mediation Agreement or Arbitration Contract which are incorporated herein by reference.