“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
~ Albert Einstein
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) focuses on delivering justice through mutual parties in the minimum time without any delay like in litigation. It recognizes four methods to resolve any dispute; Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation and Negotiation. ADR mechanism is an available option to members of the public who do not want to go for conventional method or want to resolve their matter without courts interference. At Topmarké we offer all ADR options to best serve our clients.
This approach can be used to resolve any kind of dispute – civil, family, commercial, estate and employment issues. It has significant advantages to the court process for resolving disputes. It is considerably less expensive than litigation and the hearing itself and the results are confidential. The arbitration process is also significantly quicker than the court process, and because the parties themselves are involved in determining the process for the arbitration itself, it is generally less complicated than navigating through the courts. Arbitration is more flexible, set around the schedule of the parties.
The parties normally agree on the Arbitrator or Arbitrators who will determine their dispute. Each party signs an arbitration agreement that outlines the process and deadlines for any preliminary tasks after a preliminary discussion with the arbitrator. This agreement will also outline the fees and how those fees are to be paid. The length of the arbitration process depends on the number of issues to be decided, the complexity of the matters involved, and the process the parties choose. Arbitration hearings are most often held in a neutral location, usually at the office of the Arbitrator. The parties can either be represented by counsel or as a self-represented party. Once all of the facts have been presented, the arbitrator will take time to review all of the evidence provided and all the testimony given, and then render a decision called an award. The decision is legally binding on the parties and courts will carry out the judgment decided by the arbitrator.
Arbitration can be an efficient, cost-effective resolution process. If you would like more information about arbitration of your dispute, our qualified arbitrators at Topmarké would be happy to provide you with more information.
“Don’t think of us as separate beings. Imagine that we are one body and it’s been split into millions. When we sit in the mediation hall – that is unity”
~ Frederick Lenz
Conciliation & Mediation
Is a non–binding procedure in which an impartial third party, the conciliator or mediator, assists the parties in dispute reach a mutually satisfactory and agreed settlement. Mediation is a process whereby disputing parties engage the aid of an impartial third party to act as a mediator. It offers a timely, less expensive option for clients seeking a settlement of their issues. It is applicable to almost any type of dispute.
The Mediator (neutral third party) ensures that communication to facilitate and determine common interests, and explore options that may lead to a mutually agreeable result is made available within a neutral setting. The parties meet in a neutral setting and provide the mediator with background information. The mediator determines what issues are involved, and explores the interests of each party. Parties involved in mediation are encouraged to work in good faith and produce as many solutions as possible.
Typical two-party mediation takes between three and five hours. Generally lawyers are not present during the mediation, but this is entirely up to the parties. Any mediated solution arrived at is subject to the parties’ lawyer’s review and approval.
Arbitration/Mediation cases can involve conflicts arising from issues such as:
- Family Law Disputes: This includes divorce proceedings, child custody, and child support order amendments;
- Neighbor Disputes: Examples includes frequent noise regulation violations and problems with Homeowners’ Associations;
- Workplace Disputes: Examples includes workplace or employment disputes such as wage and hour disputes, and workplace harassment;
- Business Disputes: Examples include contract disputes and business debt;
- Housing Disputes: Examples include a landlord failing to sustain a livable residence and housing discrimination;
- Personal Injury Disputes: Examples include medical malpractice cases and motor vehicle collision cases; Premises liability (slip and fall); Dog bite cases;
This form of ADR is generally reserved for disputes which arise out of construction contracts. It is a somewhat formal process that involves:
- Providing a written Notice of Adjudication that sets out the summarized details of the dispute; the appointment of an agreed adjudicator;
- Serving a referral notice which sets out the dispute in detail by the aggrieved party; a response to this referral notice (essentially the defense); and
- Finally, a decision being reached by the adjudicator within 28 days of the referral notice. This decision is final and binding.