Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR Services - Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.
Traditional litigation is not always the best approach for our clients. The pace and expense of formal litigation may not be appropriate for all clients. A matter may not have enough at stake to justify full-blown litigation. On-going litigation may be unduly distracting to management. Litigation in court may compromise confidentiality. Or, a client may need a more innovative and creative resolution or business solution than can be offered by the courts. We therefore consider the use of alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") an essential part of our practice and an important tool in our arsenal. Many of our attorneys function as advocates in ADR proceedings on behalf of our clients and as skilled ADR negotiators in mediations, while we also have been trained to serve as neutral arbitrators and mediators to assist and facilitate resolution of disputes in an ADR forum.What is ADR
ADR refers to the resolution of disputes outside a courtroom or without formal litigation. ADR includes arbitration, mediation, neutral evaluation, and several hybrid procedures, including summary trials.
Arbitration most resembles litigation, but usually is faster and less expensive, as it often dispenses with one of the most time-consuming, expensive parts of litigation extensive discovery (such as depositions ? formal statements taken under oath). It typically ends with an evidentiary hearing before an arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators (who usually are provided by an arbitration entity like the American Arbitration Association and are paid by both sides). Usually (but not always), the parties are using arbitration to resolve their dispute because they previously entered into an agreement to arbitrate (which often is in an arbitration provision contained in a contract signed by the parties). Once an arbitrator has issued a ruling, the parties typically go to court to have the ruling confirmed. There are very limited bases available to contest an arbitration ruling.
Mediation, on the other hand, is usually voluntarily entered into by the parties and is not governed by any agreement signed by them before the dispute arose. (A contract may require parties to attempt to resolve their dispute by mediation before they litigate or arbitrate. Some courts may require mediation.) A mediator, who is typically a neutral, independent party (also paid by both sides), works with the parties to achieve a mutually-agreeable solution. (Some courts have panels of mediators available, and whose compensation is controlled by court rules.) Mediation typically is non-binding, and, if unsuccessful, leaves the parties precisely where they were before they entered into mediation. If a mediation is successful, the parties typically enter into an agreement setting forth their settlement terms, which can be binding or non-binding. Mediation has the important feature of providing the parties with the ability to fashion a resolution of their dispute that may not be available in court.
Neutral evaluation is always non-binding. A neutral evaluator hears both sides of a dispute, and gives both sides his evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of their position in an attempt to allow the parties to objectively judge and assess their case and determine whether to enter into a settlement. Sometimes the various forms of ADR are combined in a hybrid proceeding.When is ADR appropriate?
Not all cases are suitable for ADR. As we do with any potential matter, beginning with our first meeting with any client as well as at critical points throughout our representation, our attorneys engage in discussions with each individual client to determine whether resort to ADR is appropriate given the client's then goals and the nature of the dispute.
ADR may be appropriate because it usually results in faster (and therefore less expensive) and more creative resolution of disputes, minimizes conflict, provides a level of confidentiality not available in most litigations, and allows for the choice of the arbitrator. Under certain circumstances, however, including when a party requires immediate relief (such as an injunction), it is often better (or may be necessary) to commence a traditional litigation in the first instance.
Just because a matter begins with a traditional litigation does not mean that ADR can never be considered. To the contrary, as experienced counsel, we know how to combine traditional litigation with ADR, and how and when to suggest moving a dispute from the courts to ADR and vice versa. In fact, many courts now have ADR procedures in place and we offer, as part of our services, advice to our clients regarding how and when to resort to those procedures, even in the context of a traditional litigation. Our ultimate goal is to assist our clients achieve their goals, including how to save time and money and to achieve resolutions consistent with their business objectives, whether that is through traditional litigation or ADR, or a combination of both.Frequently Asked Questions about Alternative Dispute ResolutionOur ADR Professionals
We have much to be proud of in terms of our experience as advocates for our clients in ADR. Among the matters that have been successfully arbitrated, mediated or evaluated by our ADR professionals for our clients are numerous labor disputes, personal injury matters, professional practice, LLCs, partnership and corporate disputes and dissolutions, buyouts of close corporation interests and other commercial and bankruptcy disputes. We have taken our finely-honed advocacy and transactional and business skills borne of years of experience and achieved positive results for our clients in all of the various ADR forums.
Besides serving as advocates for our own clients in ADR matters, our attorneys have the training and experience that have caused them to be repeatedly sought out as decision-makers in cases for other parties, whether as arbitrators, mediators or neutral evaluators. Among our attorneys who are certified as arbitrators and mediators are:
|Erica B. Garay:||American Arbitration Association arbitrator (Commercial and Complex litigation panels)|
Mediator on the U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y. panel; Mediator for Commercial Division, N.Y.S. Supreme Court, New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties
|Barry R. Shapiro:||Mediator on the Nassau County, New York, Commercial Division Mediation Panel|
|Howard B. Kleinberg:||Mediator on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York Mediation Panel|
|Alan E. Marder:||Mediator on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern and Southern District of New York Mediation Panel|
|Richard Eisenberg:||Mediator on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Mediation Panel |
(including construction, land use and employment matters)
|Thomas R. Slome:||Mediator on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern and Eastern District of New York, |
Bankruptcy Panel and District of Delaware Bankruptcy Panel