Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution in Southwest Michigan
Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to a number of methods used to settle controversies inside and outside the civil court system. These include nonbinding arbitration, binding arbitration, and mediation. When you choose the ADR route, it's important to remember you are still involved in an adversarial process. Moreover, if you agree to binding arbitration, you are giving up any and all rights to appeal the decision. At Hamilton Law, we represent people in the Kalamazoo area and throughout Michigan in ADR proceedings to help them arrive at truly just settlements. We draw on substantial experience guiding clients toward favorable results that save them time, money, and stress.
The Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation
Mediation can be seen as the first step in a two-step process. During mediation, parties may argue over the interpretation of a clause in a contract or a fair award for damaged property. The mediator, a neutral third party, will work with them to forge an agreement. He or she will not impose a result, but rather help them achieve it. If the parties can't agree, the dispute might move to arbitration, where a neutral arbitrator will listen to the facts of a case and render a decision. In nonbinding arbitration, the parties can reject the decision and then move on to binding arbitration or trial. In binding arbitration, parties agree to abide by whatever the arbitrator decides, and there is no appeal.
Each stage of this process requires preparation, execution, and high-level decision-making, weighing costs and benefits, and anticipating consequences. Our experienced attorneys with Hamilton Law, PLC approach arbitration as they would a trial: meticulously preparing your case, researching relevant law, and weaving material facts into a compelling narrative to help you pursue an optimal resolution.
The Benefits of Arbitration
Arbitration is designed to reach a fair outcome without the expense and time of a trial. When it is voluntary, arbitration helps many people who might otherwise be shut out of the justice system by high costs. However, arbitration is still an adversarial process, with each side presenting their case and rebutting their opponent's. The adversarial nature of the process is especially evident if your opponent is a corporation with a mandatory arbitration clause in its contract. Since that company has a staff of lawyers focused on winning arbitration cases, you need an equally skilled, professional legal team on your side. Our attorneys fight aggressively to protect your interests and further your goals.
If the Arbitrator is Neutral, Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
A trial judge is also neutral, but you probably would not venture to represent yourself in court. Our determined attorneys know how to approach arbitration proceedings to display your case in the best light, and our knowledge is power for you to help ensure an outcome based upon the merits of your case.
Don't delay if you feel your dispute could benefit from the fast track of Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Reach out to Hamilton Law, PLC to schedule a consultation at our Kalamazoo office. We are available for in-person appointments. We also offer virtual telephone consultations and appointments. Call 269-488-8394 or contact us online today.