A universal concept that we have all heard regarding our nation’s legal system is that a person is “entitled to his or her day in court.” While this is often true, it is also practically impossible. If every person who filed a civil lawsuit insisted on an actual trial, court systems across the country would be mired in gridlock. There are simply not enough judicial resources to hold a trial of every case filed. The cost to taxpayers for such a system would be astronomical. Enter alternative dispute resolution (ADR), often in the form of arbitration services and mediation services.
Approximately 95 percent of civil lawsuits are settled before a court trial. Settlements can occur in various ways. The common element is that both sides either agree to a resolution or agree to submit the matter to an independent third party for decision or for help in resolving the matter. This eliminates the need for a judge or jury to decide what the solution will be and puts the parties in control.
The resolution of cases short of trial saves money not only for the taxpaying public but also for litigants by reducing legal fees and other costs. In addition, the settlement of cases can move forward at a pace controlled by the parties rather than the court’s docket. This allows the parties to move on with their lives or businesses and not remain bogged down in tiresome legal wrangling.
Agreements to arbitrate or mediate often give the parties some degree of control to select who they want to serve as their arbitrator or mediator. Some companies provide solely alternative dispute resolution services. Perhaps more often, however, the parties select lawyers knowledgeable in the relevant area of law and the judicial forum in which the dispute is pending.
Hendrickson & Long, PLLC is proud to offer both arbitration services and mediation services in several states, including Pennsylvania (PA), and West Virginia (WV).
The Unsung Hero of Litigation: Alternative Dispute Resolution Services
The technical term for arbitration and mediation is “alternative dispute resolution.” This term just means that, in a lawsuit, the parties may choose to settle their dispute by working with an independent party rather than through a court trial. Sometimes that choice comes with some pressure to do so from the court. Other times, the parties themselves are not anxious to participate in a trial, and still other times, the litigants just want a quick resolution. Regardless of the motivation, settling a dispute without the need for a formal trial most always benefits the litigants, and it always benefits the court system. The dominant forms of alternative dispute resolution are arbitration and mediation.
Resolving Legal Disputes Using Arbitration Services
In arbitration, the opposing parties agree to present their positions to an arbitrator, who will render a decision. Sometimes, the parties agree to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final. Other times, they agree that the arbitrator’s decision will only be a recommended outcome. As a way to avoid costly litigation, many employment and other contracts designate arbitration as the chosen means of resolving disputes. These kinds of disputes typically never reach the stage of a lawsuit being filed.
Arbitration services provide arbitrators to resolve legal disputes and lawsuits using arbitration.
Resolving Legal Disputes Using Mediation Services
Mediation, on the other hand, is when the parties agree to allow a neutral third party to listen to the respective sides of the case and then facilitate discussion in the hope of finding a mutually agreeable settlement to the dispute—something that each side is willing to live with. This method is normally used to settle lawsuits that have been filed. Most courts take an active approach to encouraging the mediation of cases.
Mediation services provide mediators to resolve legal disputes and lawsuits using mediation.
When You Need Arbitration Services or Mediation Services, Choose Hendrickson & Long
Hendrickson & Long participates in alternative dispute resolution in all roles—as attorneys to parties, as mediators, and as arbitrators. We have decades of experience in the states in which we’re licensed to practice law, both for plaintiffs and defendants. We know the law and judicial systems in those states. Our broad base of knowledge makes our firm the perfect choice to provide arbitration services or mediation services.
Here are some examples of the types of matters for which we have provided alternative dispute resolution services:
- Disputes between businesses over contractual agreements
- Disputes between companies and their clients or employees
- Disputes between the parties to a lawsuit about the breadth of discovery (information exchanged between the parties)
- Disputes in lawsuits over personal injuries or property damage
At Hendrickson & Long, we recognize that the parties to a dispute, first and foremost, want a resolution. We also know that people seeking to resolve legal disputes are best served by direct and forthright communication that leads them toward the goal of resolving the case.
Our office is located in the heart of Charleston, WV, and we have adequate conference facilities to host large multi-party arbitration and mediation proceedings.
Our attorneys are skilled at working with each side of a dispute professionally, respectfully, and positively. When cases are resolved, it is not a given that both sides will be entirely happy with the result, but when Hendrickson & Long is involved, they will know that the process was fair and will feel that they “had their day in court.”
Hendrickson & Long’s attorneys provide experienced arbitration services and mediation services throughout West Virginia and Pennsylvania. We understand the intimate workings of the court system and know how to shepherd a case through the often complex processes of either settling or trying the case. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you resolve your lawsuit or legal dispute.