An Introduction to Mediation
Even the smallest disputes and the costs of seeking qualified legal help often cause those involved to seek the path of least resistance, which isn’t necessarily the most beneficial. There are alternatives available to individuals and groups to help avoid the courtroom when seeking dispute resolution. Mediation is one of those alternatives. Mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution to help parties reach an amicable agreement. Mediation also could help avoid the lengthy process and high cost of settling a dispute via traditional means, as well as provide an opportunity for a better outcome for all parties involved. If you have a legal dispute in Boca Raton, Jupiter, Wellington, West Palm Beach or anywhere throughout Palm Beach County, ARC Mediation’s neutrals can help.
What Does a Mediator Do?
A mediator is a neutral third party who is adept at helping disputants understand the particular issues in a case and assist in finding an agreeable solution. Additionally, mediators might also help by offering solutions that the disputants had not previously considered. Mediators are professionals who have undergone a specific degree of training, as required by laws of the state. Florida has a number of rules regarding mediation specialists, including mediation neutrals. (1) At ARC Mediation, we have a team of more than 50 certified mediators specially suited to meet your individual needs.
Cases Appropriate for Mediation
Mediation is an excellent option for a wide variety of disputes. Some of the more common disputes that are resolved by mediation include:
- Bodily Injury
- Civil Rights
- Family Law Matters
- Homeowners Association
- Intellectual Property
- Landlord / Tennant
- Personal Injury
- Professional Malpractice
- Real Estate
- Trust & Estates
- Workers Compensation
Mediation often is preferable to traditional means of dispute resolution for many cases, like those listed above. Mediators understand that parties involved in nearly every dispute are interested in resolving the dispute as quickly and efficiently as possible. Mediators with experience in mediation have the skills to ensure that all sides are heard and each party’s unique circumstances are understood. In addition, mediation specialists work hard to resolve the dispute to the agreement of all parties – something that traditional dispute resolution is not always able to accomplish.
At ARC Mediation, all of our mediators are attorneys and certified by the Florida Supreme Court. If you choose ARC Mediation, know that you are getting qualified mediators. Our roster of more than 50 mediators allows you to choose the right one for your specific type of case.
Mediation is one of the most effective means of resolving legal disputes and should always be considered before resorting to litigation.
ARC Mediation provides mediation services in Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Jupiter, West Palm Beach and other locations throughout Florida.
1. Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators:
Arbitration in Palm Beach County
Millions of lawsuits flood the U.S. legal system each year, and the State of Florida has its share of them. The legal system strains under the sheer number, creating a backlog. As a result, some suits are not heard in court for months — if not years. No matter what side of an issue the individual or business is on, dealing with legal issues is a time-consuming, expensive process and can be very disruptive to the flow of business, personal life and well-being. Although many lawsuits are destined for the courtroom, a number of disputes can be resolved by alternate means. For many, it makes sense to settle legal disputes in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. This makes arbitration an attractive option for individuals and businesses to settle certain types of legal disputes.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a private method of dispute resolution between two or more parties and is resolved by an impartial arbitrator or “referee.” Cases also could be handled by retired judges or other specialists. All parties must agree to this method, unless court ordered. Unless otherwise agreed, they must abide by the arbitrator’s decision. In Palm Beach County, ARC Mediation’s qualified arbitrators can help you settle your dispute without the cost and time of taking a case to court.
Why Does Arbitration Work?
Arbitration has become a popular form of alternative dispute resolution, mainly for its economic benefits. It’s less expensive than taking a legal dispute all the way to court. In addition to the decreased cost, the time it takes to resolve a case in arbitration is significantly less than the amount of time required for a lawsuit to be brought to court. It is, however, still legally binding. Another benefit for many clients is the ability to select the arbitrator, a significant difference from the courtroom setting where judges are assigned to the case without the disputants’ input. If you have a dispute in Boca Raton, Wellington, West Palm Beach or anywhere in Palm Beach County, our qualified arbitrators might be able to help you resolve your case.
Some cases might not be suitable for arbitration, including criminal matters and some family law disputes. Certain cases might only be arbitral in specific portions of a legal dispute, which makes each case unique in its proceedings. The complexity surrounding arbitration cases is one of the most important reasons that individuals and businesses should seek the assistance of experienced and qualified arbitrators who can guide you through your choices.
Have you been contractually obligated to other arbitration companies and found the experience less than efficient and too costly? Consider choosing ARC to arbitrate your dispute. Please see our list of qualified arbitrators and download an OPT OUT FORM for both parties to use ARC Mediation for your arbitration.
ARC Mediation provides arbitration services in Palm Beach County, including the cities of Boca Raton, Jupiter, West Palm Beach and other locations all over Florida.
Dispute Resolution Options
Through the past few decades, there has been a steady increase of civil suits flowing into courtrooms around the country. The court system has not been able to catch up to the mounting volume, resulting in cases that otherwise would take only months to reach resolution ending up taking years. Although taking certain cases to court to be decided by judge and/or jury has its merits, many disputes can be resolved outside of the courtroom. Traditionally, filing a civil suit to be decided in court has been the norm, and it’s still an effective method for those types of cases that cannot be resolved otherwise.
If you have a dispute that you feel might not require resolution by the courts, such as by trial or hearing, ARC Mediation’s dispute resolution neutrals can help. Our neutrals are experienced in dispute resolution and could help you save time and money.
Alternatives to the Courtroom
Some alternatives to filing a full-blown civil suit are readily available: mediation arbitration, neutral umpiring and private judging. The benefits of these alternatives transcend the saving of time. Overall, the cost is much lower than taking a case to court. The State of Florida began supporting alternative dispute resolution in 1975 with the founding of the first citizen dispute settlement (CDS) center in Dade County. In 1987, Florida Statues were expanded to give trial judges the authority to refer civil disputes to arbitration and mediation. (1)
Arbitration is similar to litigation in the sense that it employs the use of a judicial figure known as an arbitrator (or arbiter) to reach a binding conclusion. For the arbitrator, the goal is to find a solution that goes as far as possible to the best interest of all parties involved in the dispute. One of the major benefits of arbitration is the speed of the resolution, and in some cases the ability of the parties to select the arbitrator for their dispute — an option that is not available in litigation.
Mediation is another viable alternative. This method does not find a binding judgment at the conclusion of the process. Rather, the mediator works to find compromises on all sides, which the disputants themselves agree upon. In mediation, the mediator’s duty is to guide the opposing parties into a collaborative solution.
Private judging is a step between litigation and arbitration in terms of formality and control by these parties — in that the case is heard in court — but privately — with a judge who presides specifically for that case. These judges usually are former public judges or those retired from the bench.
What Form of Dispute Resolution is Right for Me?
It can be difficult to determine which method of dispute resolution is appropriate for your case. If you or a loved one are facing a conflict that you feel could benefit from resolution outside of the courtroom in Palm Beach County, consult with our dispute resolution neutrals. We have the skill and experience to help you determine the best method of dispute resolution for your unique situation. ARC Mediation’s neutrals are skilled in dispute resolution alternatives, and can guide you to find the best solution.
ARC Mediation provides alternative dispute resolution services in Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Jupiter, West Palm Beach and other locations throughout Florida.
(1) 20th Judicial Circuit (http://www.ca.cjis20.org/web/programs/adr.asp)