Alternative Dispute Resolution is the use of methods such as mediation and arbitration to resolve a dispute instead of litigation. The most common types of ADR are mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation.
Mediation: In mediation, an impartial person called a "mediator" helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties.
Arbitration: In arbitration, a neutral person called an "arbitrator" hears arguments and evidence from each side and then decides the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is less formal than a trial, and the rules of evidence are often relaxed. Arbitration may be either "binding" or "nonbinding." Binding arbitration means that the parties waive their right to a trial and agree to accept the arbitrator's decision as final. Generally, there is no right to appeal an arbitrator's decision. Nonbinding arbitration means that the parties are free to request a trial if they do not accept the arbitrator's decision.
Neutral Evaluation: In neutral evaluation, each party gets a chance to present the case to a neutral person called an "evaluator." The evaluator then gives an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of each party's evidence and arguments and about how the dispute could be resolved. The evaluator is often an expert in the subject matter of the dispute. Although the evaluator's opinion is not binding, the parties typically use it as a basis for trying to negotiate a resolution of the dispute.
Why to Mediate?
- You Have a Chance to be Heard:
Our mediation process is completely neutral, facilitative, and offers all parties a chance to talk. This is critical because this is the time when parties often are avoiding each other, have stopped talking, and are not sharing information. This may be the first time a party gets an opportunity to “speak out” his or her side of the story.
- You Control the Outcome:
Think of your conflict as a thick book. Now, understand that your attorney knows only what is in the table of contents. The judge knowns only what is written in the Foreword portion of your book. Only you know every chapter and detail in the story of your book. As opposed to having a judge make crucial decisions about your situation, you keep control of what happens in your life. Courts can tell you how many placement visits you will get with your children or how much money you will get. They don’t help much with acknowledging emotions, improving communication, or solving your problems. Parties have ownership of the outcome of the agreement reached during mediation. There is less need to worry about enforcement.
- You Begin the Healing Process:
Most court battles involve blame, bitterness, and damaged relationships. The mediation process allows you to look at a conflict in a different way whether it involves a divorce, custody, or financial issues. Our process will guide parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution so that you can bring a closure to a conflict that got you here in the first place.
- You Save Time, Money and Emotional Strain:
Emotional strain aside, litigation is EXPENSIVE! The costs of mediation including time and emotional stress are considerably less than those of a typical court case. Most of the time mediation works! Over 70% of divorces are settled by agreement between the couple. So, it makes sense from the outset to choose to be one of the 70% and try mediation.
Bentley Mediation & Drafting provides a mutually agreeable solution to a problem by acting as a liaison between parties involved in various types of disputes and conflicts:
- Family/Relationship disputes
- Civil disputes
- Labor and employment disputes
- Cultural miscommunication disputes
- Custody battles
- Property issues
- Labor conflicts
- Neighbor conflicts
As a Mediator, Ms. Bentley utilizes her skill set of diverse educational, cultural, and professional training to shift parties' perspectives from a deadlock to a mutually agreeable resolution.