Dispute Resolution team consists of professionals who are able,
experienced and professionally qualified to assist parties in
resolving misunderstandings, complaints and disputes without going
to the expense and time of a court case.
Also, many of the restrictions of a court proceeding are reduced or
eliminated. The mediation or arbitration process is more flexible,
and the hearing more relaxed and less stressful. With the
cooperation of all concerned, results can be produced more quickly
than a court decision - and at less expense.
The firm has 3 Certified Circuit Civil Mediators who offer creative solutions and
alternatives to litigation. Our mediators have conducted to
conclusion more than 15,000 mediations in cases
involving a wide range of civil litigation subject matter including:
- Personal injury and wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Legal malpractice
- Commercial disputes
- Insurance coverage disputes
- Employment disputes
- ERISA disputes
- Will challenges and probate litigation
- Landlord and tenant disputes
- Admiralty litigation
Two of our Mediators is
recognized by the Florida Circuit-Civil Mediator Society,
the state's premier association of civil mediators.
Mediation is a voluntary process of cooperative problem solving in
which a neutral third party, with special training and skills, helps
individuals to work out mutually acceptable, agreements. The
mediator is selected by agreement between the parties.
It is important to note that the mediator does not reach the
solution; the parties do, with the mediator's help. Although
conflict is difficult to deal with, and emotions often run high, you
should come to mediation with an honest desire to reach a settlement
that is fair to both and workable in practice. Participants in
mediation must be prepared to be flexible in moving away from their
initial positions to seek solutions which meet as many of their
mutual interests as possible.
Mediation is voluntary, and either party is free to withdraw from
mediation any time during the process. In fact, unless there is an
existing contract between the parties which requires mediation if a
dispute arises, or if required as part of a mandated court
procedure, a party need not participate in mediation. In some
circumstances, the mediator may also end the process, if he or she
believes that mediation is not appropriate or useful for the
parties. Although the process is voluntary, agreements reached
through mediation can be as valid as any other contract.
Arbitration is a process where two or more parties, who have
been unable to negotiate a solution to a problem, agree to put the
matter to an independent neutral person to provide an answer, and to
be bound by that decision. Sound simple? It can be, and has been
known to be used by people in all societies since the days of the
early Greek civilization.
Why? Because merchants involved in commercial disputes, shipping
companies and their customers, insurance companies and the insured,
unions and employers, have all found over the years that the process
works. It provides sensible results without having to go to court.
The popularly of arbitration over the years (and in fact, centuries)
shows that the system works well and efficiently for those who use
it. For example, complaints under union-management collective
agreements are routinely resolved by arbitration - and it is the
rare case that goes to appeal.
There are similarities between arbitration proceedings and those
of the courtroom.
- The arbitrator hears evidence from witnesses for the parties.
- Each side is represented by a spokesman or advocate
- The arbitrator listens to the arguments and produces a binding
award, just as a court gives a judgment.
The differences between litigation / arbitration are:
- No long written pleadings (through briefs and written argument
can be used and are sometimes very effective)
- Delays and extra "motions" are eliminated, or at least kept to
- The rules of evidence and formality are relaxed and less
Another option is for the parties to remit their differences to a
Med-Arb process. This has proved useful and popular. The independent
neutral will then first mediate the issues - but is also empowered
to arbitrate those issues which mediation has failed to resolve.
Med-Arb lends itself to variations which the parties may create as
they go along, whereas arbitration is more structured.