Mediation and arbitration are forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In Minnesota, generally all civil cases are subject to ADR. ADR is a means of resolving personal injury claims and other legal disputes. The vast majority of claims submitted to ADR are resolved. If the matter is not resolved by ADR, the parties have the right to proceed to trial.
The ADR process, which can be overseen by a Mankato Arbitration & Mediation Attorney, may also be useful in avoiding a long legal battle and litigation expenses. Scott Kelly and Will Partridge are frequently asked by other attorneys to mediate or arbitrate cases.
Arbitration is the most traditional form of ADR. Arbitration may be binding or nonbinding. Arbitration is adjudicatory as opposed to advisory because of the fact the arbitrator renders a decision at the end of the arbitration hearing.
An arbitration can be driven by a pre-dispute contract entered into by the parties in which they agree that should a dispute arise, the dispute shall be resolved through the arbitration process, or by the parties agreeing to arbitration. Arbitration can be binding or nonbinding depending on the agreement of the parties.
By agreeing to binding arbitration the parties are waiving their fundamental constitutional right to a trial by jury. Unless otherwise agreed, the decision is legally binding and non-appealable except in extreme limited circumstances such as in the cases of fraud or collusion.
Mediation is an ADR process in which the parties meet with a mutually selected impartial and neutral person who will assist them in the negotiations of their differences.
The mediator leaves the decision power totally and strictly with the parties. The mediator does not decide what is “fair” or “right,” does not assess blame, or render an opinion on the merits or chances of success if the case were litigated. Rather, the mediator acts as a catalyst between the opposing interests attempting to bring them together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles to communication, while moderating and guiding the process to avoid confrontation. The mediator will, however, seek concessions from each side during the mediation process.
This webpage contains general information and not legal advice. It is based on Minnesota law in effect the the time of writing. An attorney at Farrish Johnson can advise you about how the law applies to your specific situation.