"Navigating Your Course To Optimal Resolutions"
Mediation & Arbitration
The Law Office of Thomas C. Higgins, P.C.
Mediation is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person who assists them in reaching a settlement. It may be an informal agreed meeting among the parties or a Court-ordered scheduled settlement conference. The dispute may either be pending in a court or a pre-litigation dispute. There are many cases suitable for Mediation. The Mediator is a facilitator who has skills, expertise, and years of experience to assist the parties in reaching a resolution. Unlike an Arbitrator, the Mediator does not render a decision, but assists the parties in reaching an amicable settlement. As a Registered Mediator in the State of Indiana, I have taken additional coursework and training as well as which has allowed me to function in this capacity. My insurance industry designations coupled with my 27+ years as a litigator, enable me to enlighten parties to the pros and cons of their case and the value of seeking a resolution. I am bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct and maintain confidentiality before, during, and after the Mediation has concluded. I cannot be compelled to testify in Court about what was said in the Mediation.
An Arbitration is the hearing and determination of a disputed case by an arbiter. Depending on the situation, there may be a sole Arbitrator or a three Arbitrator panel. Arbitrators render a final decision in lieu of a judge and/or jury. The benefits of Arbitration are like those cited below for Mediation.
There are numerous reasons why a party to a dispute might choose mediation over traditional litigation. Some of them are:
- Affordability – Mediation can be less expensive than protracted litigation and the expenses associated with litigation.
- Timely resolution – Mediation can produce a resolution to a dispute sooner than adhering to the formal course of litigation.
- Control – Unlike going to trial and having a Judge or Jury render a decision on the evidence, Mediation affords you the control to know exactly what your outcome is at the end of the process. There is uncertainty when taking a case to trial. You have no control over the verdict that will be entered at the close of your case.
- Private Sessions – The Mediation process is conducted in an office or other non-public setting. Parties are not subjected to the stress or embarrassment of testifying in open court. There are no spectators.
- Confidentiality – Since the Mediation is in conducted in a private setting, the settlement is confidential and not made a public record.
- Preservation of relationship - The Mediation process in many cases will preserve the interrelationship between the parties and allow for future business or working relationships.