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  • Jim Schroeder

Mediation & Arbitration and how they can save you Money

Sometimes no matter how hard you try you cannot get on the same page and the word litigation throws gasoline on the fire. You will want to know there are options that can save time and money in some circumstances, mediation and arbitration.

Resolving a legal dispute in a courtroom can take years, which leads to exorbitant legal fees. To avoid a costly and lengthy legal process, the United States legal system offers both parties the chance to find common ground. The two processes involved in settling differences outside of a courtroom are called mediation and arbitration.

Arbitration and mediation aim to find an equitable solution that appeals to both parties. However, the processes have several significant differences that both parties must understand before agreeing to seek dispute resolution out of court.

The most crucial difference between mediation and arbitration is how a dispute is resolved.

An Overview of Mediation

Mediation is managed by an independent professional who issues decrees and order remedies that impact one or both parties involved in the dispute resolution process. Mediators do not attempt to find fault in either party. They are facilitators, which means they must be highly skilled at finding common legal ground for both parties. Negotiating skills are a must for anyone working as a mediator. Mediation is often the dispute resolution used during labour contract negotiations.

Depending on the type and peculiarity of the case, the mediation process may differ. Both parties initially meet with a mediator to present their side of the dispute. Mediation may be done with both parties in the same room.

Mediation may also be done in separate meetings at the request of the mediator. The mediator discusses ways to resolve the dispute, with several meetings including both parties as a standard part of the process.

Ohio Legal Code Chapter 2710, which is called the Uniform Mediation Act, explains the mediation process in the State of Ohio.

How are Mediators Certified in Ohio?

Some states certify mediators at the executive branch level or by having the state Supreme Court issue a license or a certification. In the State of Ohio, the Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Dispute Resolution advises against the need for issuing a license or a certification for mediators. Instead, the committee recommends establishing a program that includes training and mentoring to develop the skills required to work as a mediator.

An Overview of Arbitration

Considered a more formal legal process, arbitration leads to a binding decision that both parties have to follow. As opposed to mediation, neither party has a say on how the dispute should be resolved.

In arbitration, both parties present their case in front of a neutral third party called an independent arbitrator. An arbitrator can be a former judge or a senior attorney from a law firm that specializes in hearing arbitration cases. The arbitrator can also be from another occupation, such as an accountant or an engineer.

An arbitration happens like any other type of legal proceeding. Both sides present evidence and call witnesses to the stand. In many cases, arbitration is a shorter dispute resolution process than mediation. The back and forth involved in a mediation process takes more time.

As a result, arbitration is typically a more affordable way to settle legal disputes. Binding arbitration is often found in a clause written into terms of service contracts to avoid the high cost of filing a class-action lawsuit.

Ohio Legal Code Chapter 2711 ensures all arbitration decisions are enforced to the full extent of the law, except for a few types of real estate transactions. Real estate transactions such as disputes between tenants and landlords often end up in small claims court for resolving disputes. Class action lawsuits filed by plaintiffs against large property management companies also get to court.

Hopefully, you never have to deal with the hassle of litigation. If you need to litigate a dispute, the resolution can be handled in mediation or arbitration. Both legal processes offer a much less stressful process, with each process involving the use of different procedures.

James Schroeder is an attorney licensed to practice in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia focusing on real estate, estate planning, business and nonprofit law. He maintains offices in Sardinia Ohio and Egg Harbor City New Jersey. You may reach him at (973) 886-4563 or (609) 270-7590. Most of his clients come from Sardinia, Mount Orab, Georgetown, Russellville, West Union, Peebles and Seaman in Ohio and Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Port Republic, Galloway and Mullica Township in New Jersey but if you are from anywhere in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia can call to discuss your legal issues.

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