When you’ve got a difficult situation you want someone with a calm demeanor and lots of experience to assist you. Coming together around the table can be a much better process for handling disputes. Newnan Lawyers at Sumner Meeker are experienced, well-trained mediators, serving as mediators or arbitrators and representing clients in mediation and arbitration.
MEDIATION. In mediation, the parties to a lawsuit choose whether or not to enter into a binding settlement. The mediator, usually a lawyer, assists by listening for common interests, helping the parties to explore creative solutions, assisting the parties understand strengths and weaknesses in their cases and the potential advantages and disadvantages to litigation. Cases successfully mediated can save parties additional legal fees, the anxiety of prolonged litigation, and provide the parties the ability to shape their own agreement.
The mediation process makes it more likely that parties in a dispute will be able to maintain an amicable relationship following settlement. This is particularly important in many estate and probate situations where the parties may still need to function as a family.
ARBITRATION. In arbitration, the dispute is submitted to an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) for a final binding decision. The arbitrator acts as a judge and the proceeding is similar to a court proceeding, except somewhat less formal.
Since the rules for arbitration allow for a more streamlined presentation of the evidence and testimony, arbitration hearings usually take less time than a trial. Parties can choose the date for arbitration rather than wait for their case to appear on a court calendar, which can take several months. Furthermore, arbitrations are private matters whereas court records are available to the public. Thus, arbitration tends to be quicker, less expensive, and more private than litigation.
Typically, the parties must agree to enter into arbitration and be bound by the arbitrator’s decision. In some commercial disputes, a contract already stipulates that any disputes must go through arbitration rather than court. In many cases, the parties can usually agree to use a specific arbitrator rather than the more expensive national arbitration company referenced in the contract.