Alternative Dispute Resolution

Our experienced team can guide businesses to speedy, positive, and confidential resolution outside the courtroom, through mediation or arbitration

The usual method of resolving disputes is through the judicial system. This system, unfortunately, is not always as quick, inexpensive or efficient as the parties may wish. At the same time, some disputes are not well-suited to resolution by the courts. In some instances such as disputes among family members or long-time business partners, the underlying cause of the dispute can be “hurt feelings” over some “personal” issue that has manifested itself into the present dispute which would have been more minor in nature without the hurt feelings. The courts cannot (or cannot easily) resolve such problems. WV LLP’s ADR team focuses upon two of the more common forms of alternative dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration.

Mediation is the involvement of a neutral third party to help the parties achieve a resolution of their dispute. Mediators do not impose a solution on the parties but facilitate a dialogue among the parties in order to help them achieve a mutually acceptable resolution. In many instances, the parties are no longer talking with one another but, instead, are talking at one another. The mediator helps the parties to resume a constructive dialogue so that, even if they cannot ultimately reach an agreement, they can have a better appreciation of the other party’s perspective as well as a better appreciation for the other party’s chances of success in the dispute (as well as their own).

Arbitration is a private hearing before either one or three arbitrators who have the power to make a final and binding decision on the dispute. While similar in nature to the judicial system, arbitration has several advantages over traditional litigation including: (a) the ability to select decision-makers with specific qualities or backgrounds; (b) speed of decision-making; (c ) reduced costs; (d) privacy and confidentiality of the hearing and any decision on the dispute; and (e) the ability to enforce the ultimate award more easily than might otherwise be the case with a court judgment.