Walnut Creek Mediation & Arbitration Attorney
What is Mediation?
Aaron Feldman specializes in mediation, having completed a certification and training program. Mr. Feldman has also served as a voluntary mediator for the Contra Costa County Bar Association Fee Dispute Program. Forcing people who have filed a lawsuit to sit down and discuss their issues in mediation may seem counter-intuitive, but is the most cost-effective way to resolve most disputes. Courts will insist parties attempt mediation prior to going to trial, so it is important to have a Walnut Creek mediation & arbitration attorney who has specialized training in this field.
Mediation can be particularly helpful in family related disputes such as Trust and Probate or Estate related litigation. Mediation is also a confidential process that allows parties to speak freely without their words being used later on if the case does not settle.
Issues that may lead to mandatory mediation include:
- Cases that could or may already be tying up court resources for long periods of time.
- The wish by one or both parties to avoid a long trial.
- The wish by one or both parties to control litigation costs.
- The belief that mediation could resolve the issue without court interference.
- The desire of both parties to reach a compromise.
- Where the cost of a court trial is out of scale with any potential monetary award.
The biggest benefit of mediation is that it allows the parties to shape the result. At trial, the judge (or jury) will decide the case and is limited in the relief that can be awarded (usually only monetary damages), but mediation can enable the parties to create terms and to address issues beyond monetary compensation (division of personal mementos from an estate, for example). Mediation can save on the cost of litigation and also give parties greater freedom to create a better agreement. And in Trust and Probate disputes it can help put families back together by allowing free-flowing communication that helps clear the air.
When parties disagree over the terms of a contract, the proper performance of a service, the exchange of goods or other disputes, binding arbitration offers a smart, cost-effective and stress-saving alternative to settling the dispute outside the formal courtroom.
Binding arbitration offers greater privacy than a court trial, which could result in bad publicity for a business. Parties entering into binding arbitration are not bound to the same legal requirements as might be necessary in a court trial, such as the discovery process. This is a benefit for businesses who do not wish private information to be made public.
In addition, a judge and jury trial could take a great deal of time and money; binding arbitration offers the opportunity to resolve the dispute in a less formal atmosphere, for a quicker, less costly resolution.
Mandatory vs. Voluntary Arbitration
In voluntary arbitration, both parties can agree to allow third-party intervention to resolve the dispute.
However, in mandatory arbitration:
- The borrower or consumer must agree to the use of an arbitrator instead of the court system to resolve their issues.
- The consumer may not have originally wanted to resolve the issue through arbitration, but the other party is making it clear this is the only way to resolve the dispute.
- Beware of the independent arbitrator who has a financial interest in the corporation, as he or she and may not be able to be entirely neutral.
- The consumer who signs a mandatory arbitration clause is basically waiving their right to sue, either as an individual or as part of a class action lawsuit. Many individuals are not aware they are signing their rights away when they agree to mandatory arbitration.
This is why it is so important to hire a trained and knowledgeable mediation and arbitration attorney. Before you agree to resolve any dispute, please contact Aaron Feldman at The Feldman Law Group to make sure your rights are protected.
Contact the Feldman Law Group
Headquartered in Walnut Creek the Feldman Law Group provides special needs support and real estate litigation in and around the San Francisco Bay area. Founder Aaron Feldman is an experienced litigator and trained mediator, offering his clients a broad approach to their special needs support or real estate litigation. Contact Aaron today for your consultation.