Litigation is historically expensive, time consuming, and unpredictable. In general, less than 3% of civil cases actually go to trial. This means that parties spend substantial amounts of money, resources, and time to either have their case dismissed or eventually settle out of court. If less than 3% of cases go to trial, the question becomes what is the most cost-effective and time-effective way to resolve disputes? The answer is mediation or arbitration.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an informal, forward-thinking way of resolving disputes using a neutral third party (the mediator) to facilitate a settlement. The process is confidential and non-binding until an agreement is signed.
Prior to the mediation, the parties typically submit concise mediation briefs that inform the mediator of the key facts and issues of the case. The mediator then arranges for both parties to attend a mediation conference, usually at a neutral venue. The mediator may then splits the parties into private sessions where each party’s position will be discussed in confidence with the mediator. The mediator continues to discuss opportunities for settlement in a mixture of joint and private sessions, as he or she sees fit.
Traditional methods of dispute resolution through courts and tribunals can be lengthy, expensive, resource-intensive, highly adversarial, and damaging to relationships. Litigation can reduce work efficiency, raise stress levels, create damaging public relations, and take time away from your personal and professional life.
Mediation generates fast, cost-effective, and confidential solutions by utilizing an experienced neutral mediator to assist all parties to reach an acceptable settlement. The power of the mediator rests in his or her neutrality and ability to candidly and confidentially discuss the merits of each party’s case.
- PARTY-LED – Parties stay in control of the dispute throughout the mediation. Any settlement is negotiated by agreement between the parties and will never be imposed by the mediator.
- COST-EFFECTIVE – Mediation is almost certainly less costly than other alternatives, representing a real saving in attorney’s fees and litigation expenses.
- FAST - Mediation can be scheduled quickly because complex litigation procedures are not present. Many cases may be resolved in a single mediation session.
- CONFIDENTIAL – All discussions in the mediation, along with the settlement agreement (if the parties choose) are confidential. What is discussed during the mediation stays in the mediation.
- SUCCESS – Mediation has a very high success rate. In the minority of cases that do not settle, the mediation process helps to narrow the number of disputed issues between the parties, often saving fees and costs when preparing for litigation.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative forum to a court room that is more formal then mediation, but less formal then trial. Arbitration is governed by certain procedural rules such as the disclosure of documents and evidence. While it is more formal then mediation, arbitration is still less costly then litigation.
Arbitration may generate cost-effective, confidential, and final outcomes by utilizing an experienced arbitrator to reach a decision in a dispute. The power of the arbitrator rests in his or her neutrality, experience, and authority to issue a decision.
- COST-EFFECTIVE – Arbitration, typically, is less costly than other alternatives, representing a real saving in attorney’s fees and litigation expenses.
- CONFIDENTIAL – Unlike litigation, arbitration is private and the parties may agree to keep the arbitration, and any results, confidential.
- FINALITY – The arbitrator has the authority to issue a decision and resolve the dispute. If the parties choose, this decision may be final and binding on the parties. Thus, the parties know that after the arbitration concludes, the matter will most likely be resolved.
Why Laurence P. Digesti as Your Mediator or Arbitrator
Larry has tried in excess of 100 jury trials and 200 bench trials along with representing clients in countless mediations and arbitrations. Additionally, he has served as a Judge Pro Tem in Reno Municipal Court, Reno Justice Court, and Verdi Justice Court. Drawing on his decades of experience as a trial lawyer, he has served as an effective mediator, arbitrator, and Short Trial Judge Pro Tem in the Second Judicial District.
When selecting a mediator or arbitrator, experience is critical. Larry has been an advocate for his clients, a mediator, an arbitrator, and a pro tem trial judge. His experience provides him with the ability to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses in a party’s position, fairly evaluate the value of each claim, effectively communicate with the parties, and advise each on potential outcomes if the case were to proceed to trial. Moreover, he trained at Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law. Collectively, these experiences provide Larry with the experience necessary to effectively mediate or arbitrate a wide range of disputes, including:
- Personal injury actions
- Business disputes
- Labor & employment matters
- Wrongful death
See Larry's full profile