Mediation and arbitration are processes that involve third-parties to resolve issues outside of a courtroom. The terms tend to be used without people understanding the differences which can be very important to their satisfaction with the process picked.
The lawyers of Kuder, Smollar, Friedman & Mihalik, PC are skilled in providing counsel and advocacy in both the mediation and arbitration processes. However, we want you to know why they are different, and what those differences can mean to you in your search for ending your dispute. One of our skilled lawyers can make sure you choose the method that will best suit your circumstances and provide optimum results.
Mediation is a process in which the two parties meet with an impartial mediator. The parties can and often do have attorneys represent their interests to put forth the best possible presentation of their position and advise on how the process works.
The mediator attempts to get the parties to identify and resolve their differences. Once this is done, the mediator writes up an agreement. The parties and/or their attorneys can review the agreement and decide whether or not to sign it.
It is important to know that the mediator’s decision is not binding—should any party not agree, they can continue on with litigation.
Like mediation, arbitration is a procedure used to avoid litigation. However, arbitration is binding. This means any agreement reached in arbitration cannot be appealed.
During arbitration, the arbitrator hears the facts from the parties in a proceeding similar to a hearing or a trial and then resolves issues based on their professional experience in settling such matters. The arbitrator cannot advise the parties as to the law and does not encourage people to resolve the issues. Parties entering arbitration often retain legal counsel to advise them on the best resolution for their interests.
A Kuder, Smollar, Friedman & Mihalik, PC attorney can advise you as to whether meditation or arbitration is better for you, and be able to represent your interests and advise you on the best means for obtaining the outcome you seek. (See also “Alternate Dispute Resolution“).
Kuder, Smollar, Friedman & Mihalik, PC provides comprehensive family law services to clients in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland, and Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria counties in Virginia. Call us today at (202) 331-7522 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your concerns.