As a combination of mediation and arbitration, med-arb integrates two distinct forms of ADR to ensure that a case will be resolved in the ADR process. Starting with the most informal and least restrictive form of ADR, the neutral will conduct a mediation according to the guidelines laid out in our mediation section. If the mediation is successful, the parties will agree to a settlement and the procedure will end. However, if the mediation is unsuccessful, the med-arb will move to the arbitration stage. This approach initiates with the informal and cooperative approach of mediation yet the flexibility of med-arb allows it to shift to the more structured and adversarial process of arbitration if the mediation reaches a stalemate.
TYPES OF MED-ARB
The neutral acts as both the mediator and the arbitrator if necessary. Once the mediator decides that the case cannot be resolved in mediation, he or she will adjourn the mediation and initiate an arbitration proceeding.
One neutral will conduct a full mediation session, and if the case fails to settle, a second neutral will conduct an arbitration to resolve the dispute. Often, some issues will be settled in the mediation phase and only the unresolved issues will carry over to the arbitration proceeding.
Med-Arb is useful when the parties eventually want a binding, final decision, but they also want the opportunity to settle some or all of the issues in the informal mediation process. This can effectively “trim the fat” from the litigation, leaving only the most contested issues to be decided by a neutral arbitrator, preventing the arbitration from becoming overly complex and drawn out by frivolities.
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Why You Should Choose Med-Arb
- Combines the best of mediation and arbitration
- Disputes can be resolved quickly and with a sense of finality
- Preserves relationships
- Confidential, not of public record, process is closed
- Less formal and more flexible process