Committed to the value of Alternative Dispute Resolution
David has over 35 years’ legal experience in all aspects of Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution as a trainer, neutral mediator, and attorney representing interested parties. This gives David unique expertise in addressing individual and corporate business disputes involving construction, business operations/succession, employment, land use, probate and estate matters, commercial litigation and personal injury. David’s career arc has led to a personal and professional commitment to the value of ADR in addressing the full spectrum of disputes.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) is a broad descriptor of a complex and varied set of alternatives to the rights-based traditional system of laws which pits disputants’ legally interpreted and defined positions in a contest that assumes (for only one side) a successful outcome at trial.
This adversarial approach assumes a zero-sum gain, in other words, winners and losers. ADR provides opportunities in even the unlikeliest scenarios for all parties to win and experience gains. All ADR processes provide the real opportunity for confidentiality and privacy in the resolution process, and an outcome of disputes that is not often available under traditional rights-based litigation in the court system. There are three major classes of ADR: Mediation, Arbitration and Peacemaking.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Ethics and ADR intersect?Lawyers, Arbitrators and Mediators are each bound by Professional Standards of Conduct which define, and in some instances limit, the actions that these professionals may undertake in furtherance of their clients’ needs. At ADRFitz, a thorough understanding of and grounding in these Rules and significant experience in Professional Ethics provide further assurance that the processes followed are conducted with the best interests of all participants paramount.
What can I expect during Mediation?In Mediation your goal should be to engage a thorough and comprehensive examination of all aspects of the dispute to identify and embrace as comprehensive and mutually satisfactory an outcome as possible. The resolution for so many disputes, litigated or not yet part of a lawsuit, falls so often outside the precise remedies provided for at law, that interests-based review simply must be explored.
How should I choose a Neutral?Various organizations maintain panels of qualified neutrals and post training requirements for membership on those panels. Familiarize yourself with those qualifications, and feel free to ask any potential neutrals about their backgrounds. Keep in mind that where Arbitration services are being sought, direct contact with the potential Arbitrator may not be possible, unless all parties to the dispute (or their representatives) are involved with the contact. When reaching out to a potential Mediator, it is advisable to at the least advise, and if possible, gain the agreement of other parties.
How should I prepare for ADR?Learn as much as you are able about the process and ask questions. Preparation for Arbitration requires a full examination of the strengths and weaknesses of your own and the opponent’s case. Preparation for Mediation should also contain the same elements, in addition to examination of broader interests that will likely lead to resolutions centered on those interests.
What do you mean by Process Centered?The litigated case process involves a rights-based outcome which often is limited to “zero-sum” gains. A publicly declared Winner, and equally public Loser. ADR encompasses a varied set of tools and procedures for dispute resolution. Applying and trusting the particular process on offer is vital to maximizing the opportunities for success. At ADRFitz understanding, the value of process, and sharing the benefits with all participants from initial contact through completion is fundamental.
What is Peacemaking?Peacemaking involves the conflict resolution discourse and collaborative problem solving. This method is often used by organizations seeking resolution of conflicts, stasis and strategy in evolving and moving the organization successfully forward.
What is Arbitration?In Arbitration the neutral sits in judgment and issues an opinion. The Arbitrator determines the outcome based upon contracted or accepted norms and standards, evaluating evidence and the factual and legal arguments presented by the parties.
ADR Fitz provides comprehensive Alternative Dispute Resolution services, including mediation of litigated and non-litigated disputes, arbitration and peacemaking consultation and training. We will endeavor to provide detailed information on our services and options in response to your relevant inquiry.
We do NOT represent parties in disputes or actions, serving rather only as neutrals and or training consultants.
News & Articles
David Fitzsimons is quoted in the PBA’s latest article in the Pennsylvania Bar News… There was a time when...