Mediation / Arbitration
Mediation is an alternate dispute resolution technique whereby a neutral party meets with the disputing parties and negotiates a resolution. The venue for the mediation is generally the mediator's office, but large mediations may require alternate arrangements. The goal of the mediation is a written settlement agreement signed by the parties.
Claude Ducloux has conducted more than 1,500 mediations since 1990, with great success. The cost of the Mediation is generally divided between the parties, and is generally based upon a division of the Mediator's prevailing rate, although some mediators charge a flat daily rate, which generally is more expensive than a hourly rate.
Claude charges an hourly rate, divided either between or among the parties, which gives the parties additional encouragement to resolve the matter, if it can be resolved, in the shortest amount of time possible.
Please feel free to call the office for more information.
Arbitration, by comparison, is the process whereby the hired, neutral arbitrator, in essence is empowered by a contract between the parties to act as a private judge. The arbitrator hears the evidence the same as a judge, and usually drafts a decision (generally called an "arbitation award") after considering all the evidence.
Claude conducts arbitration on an hourly basis, too, but, like most arbitrators, generally will require a retainer of appropriate size from each party, depending on how long the arbitration is expected to last. One-day arbitrations may be paid the same day.
The benefit of arbitration has been touted as speed and ease of resolution. The criticism of arbitration is that it frequently is more expensive than simply going to court, and there is very limited recourse from a arbitrator's error in deciding the matter, whereas the appellate process is fully available for review of a judicial decision.
Claude advises his clients to be wary of mandatory arbitration clauses in any business contract, as the benefits may well be outweighed by the dangers, including cost and uncertainty of outcome.