Frequently Asked Questions

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the outcome of disputes that is not often available under traditional rights-based litigation in the court system. There are three major types of ADR: Mediation, Arbitration, and Peacemaking.
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.
Mediation is a conversation. Disputing parties engage the services of a Mediator to explore, discuss and craft party-driven solutions to their dispute.
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.