Mediation. The mediator facilitates exploring and finding potential ways to settle disputes. The exact process employed will vary and be determined by the mediator in consultation with counsel. Preparation is an essential part of the process. Telephone contact with counsel for each party before the mediation is standard operating procedure. In some cases, we will have pre-mediation telephone conferences with all counsel. . In appropriate situations, we may have face-to-face meetings with counsel, even on occasion with their client present.
Evaluative Mediation. In some cases, but only at the request of counsel, a mediator may provide feedback about the relative strengths or weaknesses of legal and factual positions, ranges of potential damage awards, or settlement values.
Dispute Evaluation, Risk Assessment & Counseling. We confidentially assist a party confronted with a dispute by evaluating claims and defenses, assessing the risk of an adverse result and suggesting options for dispute avoidance, risk reduction and resolution of claims.
Pre-suit Mediation. Mediation of disputed matters before suit is filed can be successful in appropriate cases. We have succeeded in (a) evaluating whether pre-suit mediation is appropriate, and then (b) mediating even very highly charged disputes before suit was filed. Not every case is appropriate for this, but a few are and participants are typically happy they at least tried. In most instances, there is little downside. We encourage our customers, and potential customers to call and discuss this alternative.
Binding Arbitration. Under an agreed set of rules and procedures, the Arbitrator makes binding pre-hearing decisions (such as scheduling, discovery and evidence) and then presides over the presentation of proof and post-hearing submissions culminating in a binding dispositive decision.
Non-Binding Arbitration. This process is structured like a binding arbitration, but is advisory only. This approach can be modified to to fit the nuances of a particular situation and provide a highly credible evaluative tool.
Court Appointed Special Master/Discovery Master. When appointed by Court Order, a Special Master can rule on discovery issues in highly contentious situations, sometimes in real time, or facilitates settlement negotiations or mediation.
Dispute Review Board and Standing Neutral. Given the complexity and duration of construction projects (frequently lasting for months or years), questions, misunderstandings and disagreements between project participants are not uncommon. To discourage disputes and claims as early as possible, a Dispute Review (usually a panel of three neutrals) or a single Standing Neutral are retained when the project begins. They remain on call to assist the parties as issues arise and, on request, will make recommendations or findings, which can be non-binding or binding unless subject to review in legal proceedings.
Guided Choice. Guided Choice is a multi-faceted process through which a neutral adviser, facilitator or mediator serves as a guide to the dispute resolution process. The neutral may advise the parties during contract formation about the dispute resolution process suited for the particular project or transaction. Or the mediator may work independently and confidentially with the parties to develop the customized ADR process after a dispute arises. If a dispute arises, the key for Guided Choice is getting the mediator involved early in the dispute resolution process. The Guided Choice mediator customizes the process to comport to the intricacies of the dispute, the personalities of the key decision makers and the corporate cultures of the involved companies. The Guided Choice mediator assists the parties in preparing for negotiations, anticipates potential impasses, develops means to avoid those likely stalemates in settlement discussions and designs the most efficient ways to resolve the disputes.
Partnering. The neutral is retained by the parties shortly after a contract is signed and facilitates face-to-face discussions for the purpose of setting joint project goals and promoting cooperation and trust between the parties. Partnering sessions typically result in an agreed statement of principles that will govern the relationship going forward. Partnering may be particularly appropriate for lengthy projects.
Independent Investigation. We conduct independent, neutral fact investigations for both private parties and for public bodies.
Charges. Standard hourly rate is $300 and direct expenses (including travel expense when authorized).