Jacobs and Dodds is a business law firm located in Orange County, California. Each partner has over 30 years of experience. The firm handles business litigation and transactional matters for over 300 companies. Call us today at (949) 645-7300.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Mediation vs. Arbitration
In a perfect world there would be no
business lawsuits because the parties involved would resolve their differences
without resorting to court action.
At Jacobs & Dodds each of our
lawyers has been trying cases for over 30 years. Last year partner Paul Jacobs
spent over four months in trial. However, before resorting to litigation, every
attempt is made to settle our clients' business disputes before a lawsuit is
filed. There are several alternative dispute resolution methods that can be
effective in resolving business disputes. The two most common are mediation and
Simply put, a mediator seeks to help
parties to develop a shared understanding of the conflict and to work toward
building a practical and lasting resolution. Mediation usually does not take
place in front of a judge (although it can). Mediation typically takes place
before a lawsuit is filed, although mediation can occur during the course of
Several different styles of mediation
exist . Two of the more common forms are evaluative and transformative.
Evaluative mediation has an advisory component
because the mediator evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of each side's
legal position. Transformative mediators do not approach mediation in this
Transformative mediation, in contrast,
looks at conflict as a crisis in communication between two or more parties and
seeks to help resolve the conflict thereby allowing the parties to overcome
their differences. The agreement that arises from this type of mediation occurs
as a natural outcome of the resolution of conflict.
Mediation serves to identify the
disputed issues and to generate options that help the parties reach a
mutually-satisfactory resolution. If a mediation is successful, the settlement
reached is agreed to by all of the parties. This contrasts with litigation,
which normally settles the dispute in favor of the party with the strongest
legal argument. A judge or jury makes the determination, not the parties.
There is some confusion about the
difference between mediation and arbitration. While mediation attempts to
resolve business disputes, primarily by defining the dispute and then working
to find a practical resolution, arbitration involves the appointment of an
arbitrator who listens to the facts concerning the business dispute and then
applies the applicable law and renders a decision (award) that may be binding
or non-binding on the parties.
With 30 years of legal experience, my legal background
includes serving as corporate counsel for Thrifty Corporation in Los Angeles.
Thrifty Corporation was the parent company for Thrifty Drug Stores, Payless Drug
Stores, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Gart Sporting Goods, Crown Books, Trak Auto and
Newman Importing. I also served as Senior Trial Counsel for the
distinguished law firm of Haight, Brown & Bonesteel. While at that firm, I represented many high-profile clients, including the State of California,
IBM, Carls Jr., Leviton Manufacturing and the Koll Company. Since 1996 I have been a partner in the law firm of Jacobs & Dodds. The firm represents over 300 companies throughout California.