Alternative Dispute Resolution Services
Feinman Law Offices provides services in the areas of mediation, arbitration and other methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for complex, legally intensive disputes. The firm's lawyers have acted as neutrals in a range of ADR proceedings and have been instrumental in helping to resolve difficult disputes in business, bankruptcy, contract, construction, real estate, employment, tort and professional negligence cases.
The firm's ADR practice is led by attorney Michael Feinman. Mr. Feinman has received extensive training for mediation through the Program on Negotiation at Harvard University Law School, the mediation program for the Massachusetts Superior Court in Essex County, and the State Office of Mediation for the State of New Hampshire. He has participated in numerous mediations, arbitrations, summary jury trials and evaluations.
Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR generally refers to the informal process in which disputing parties meet with a professional third party. This neutral party helps to resolve disputes in a way that is less formal and often more consensual than courtroom litigation.
The most common forms of ADR are:
- Arbitration: This process resembles litigation, and normally the parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator – similar to a judge.
- Mediation: This is a collaborative process, and itself can take different forms. It can be facilitative – where the mediator helps the parties to reach their own agreement, or it can be evaluative – where a mediator evaluates the positions of the parties and may even suggest terms of settlement.
There are also many additional forms of ADR, including judicial settlement conferences, fact-finding, ombudsmen and special masters. Though often voluntary, ADR is sometimes mandated by the courts, which require that disputants try mediation before they take their case to court.
The Benefits Of ADR
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is gaining increasing traction throughout the country as a valuable tool in achieving results in a cost-effective manner with minimal stress and distraction to the client. By settling the matter outside of court, the dispute is generally resolved much faster than if it went through litigation, and results in an outcome that often has greater buy-in from both parties.
In many cases, the ADR process will often ultimately improve, rather than worsen, the relationship between the disputing parties. This is a key advantage in situations where the parties must continue to interact after settlement is reached, such as in child custody, labor management or certain business cases.