Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), also commonly known as Mediation and Arbitration, can be a cost effective way to resolve civil disputes. It is also often required by Montana’s District Courts prior to receiving a trial date. Dave Steele and Tim Geiszler assist parties using the following ADR processes:
- Civil Law Mediations
- Settlement Conferences
- Appellate (Supreme Court) Mediations
- Civil Arbitration – Binding and Non-Binding
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party acts as a facilitator between the parties, helping them to identify and evaluate the issues creating the conflict or dispute. The Mediator then helps the parties identify and evaluate possible solutions to the conflict or dispute, and ultimately assists the parties in crafting a resolution acceptable to each party.
What are the Benefits to Mediation?
Mediation offers numerous benefits when compared to litigation. These benefits include:
- Resolution of disputes much more quickly
- Resolution of disputes for far less money
- The dispute and its resolution can remain private and not a matter of public record
- Allows for creative or unique solution and remedies not always available in court
- Is almost always less stressful for the parties than litigation
- The parties control the outcome and resolution, rather than a judge
- It can preserve the parties’ relationships
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is often confused with Mediation. However, unlike Mediation where the parties work together with a Mediator’s assistance to craft a solution, Arbitration involves an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) making a final decision. The decision of the arbitrator can be binding, or non-binding, upon the parties. Whether the arbitration is binding upon the parties is often determined by the contract governing the parties’ situation, or by the parties’ agreement prior to the arbitration.
What are the Benefits to Arbitration?
Arbitration can offer some benefits when compared to litigation. These can include:
- It is often faster than litigation in court
- It is often much less expensive than litigation
- It will not be part of the public record, and can remain confidential if the parties agree
- The parties have control over who will decide their case. Instead of an unknown judge or jury
- The parties and arbitrator can agree to use different rules than would be applied in court, such as applying federal rules of evidence or procedure, or limiting discovery.
When can Mediation or Arbitration Help?
Mediation and Arbitration are often useful in most civil law situations where a court could become involved. These include:
• Contract disputes
• Business and Commercial disputes
• Workplace disputes
• Neighbor disputes
• Probate and Trust disputes
• Homeowner Association disputes
• Landlord/tenant disputes
• Construction disputes
• Real Estate and Property disputes
How can the Attorneys at Geiszler Steele, PC Help?
Tim Geiszler and Dave Steele have litigated a wide variety of civil cases, including appeals to the Montana Supreme Court. This broad experience allows them to accurately evaluate the parties case, and to assist the parties in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Drawing from years of practical experience, and having resolved numerous disputes for their own clients themselves, they are often able to help the parties create unique and creative solutions to resolve the conflict, and can help the parties maintain relationships in the process. Contact our office to schedule a mediation or to find out how the attorneys at Geiszler Steele, PC can help you and your clients.