Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation is a consensual process. The mediator has no power to issue a ruling or compel the parties to accept any particular resolution of their dispute.

In mediation the ultimate authority resides with the parties. The case is not governed by any precedents nor does it set one. Thus, whatever the parties deem relevant is relevant.

Unlike litigation, mediation is conducted behind closed doors with no public filings. The process is made privileged by statute in most states and may be made confidential by agreement of the parties.

If all parties come to an agreement and settle the case at the negotiation table, the mediator will write up an agreement that is binding and enforceable by a court.

What are the Benefits of Arbitration?
The parties in the arbitration process decide jointly on the arbitrator; in litigation, a judge is appointed and the parties have little or no say in the selection of the judge.

The arbitration process is private between the parties and informal, while litigation is a formal process conducted in a public courtroom.

The arbitration process can be much more expeditious than litigation. Once an arbitrator is selected, the case can be heard immediately. In civil litigation, a case must wait until the court has time to hear it; this can mean many months, even years, before the case is litigated.

The costs of arbitration are limited to the fee of the arbitrator(s) and attorney fees. Costs for litigation include many more hours of attorney fees and court costs, which can be very high.

In binding arbitration, the parties usually have no appeal option unless there is a “manifest disregard of the law.”

The arbitration process has a limited evidence process, and the arbitrator controls what evidence is allowed. Litigation requires full disclosure of evidence to both parties. The rules of evidence do not apply in arbitration, so there are no subpoenas, no interrogatories, and no discovery process.

What are the benefits of Mock Appellate Arguments?
To be successful in appellate oral arguments, you need to step back and look at a case from an entirely different perspective and tap a very different skill set than used in the trial court. Some attorneys have trouble moving beyond factual arguments, finding it hard to construct the bridge to a sound legal procedural challenge.

While the written brief plays a key role in setting up the appeal, a case is often won or lost during the initial presentation to the appellate judge and how you stay focused on giving succinct and poignant answers to the most difficult questions. Even the most accomplished appellate lawyers lean on retired appellate judges or justices for help in preparing and practicing for their appeals.

Newman ADR uses experience to help attorneys identify likely points of contention in their briefs, to anticipate questions that will be asked, to organize the appellate argument, and to be primed and ready to give clear, crisp and on-point answers to a judge or justice’s queries.

Attorneys who have sought Newman ADR’s assistance early on in cases, sitting down to informally discuss trial strategies and brief preparation, have reported increased clarity and confidence as they approach appeals on a range of cases in state and federal courts.

What are the Benefits of Neutral Evaluation?
After hearing abbreviated arguments, reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the case, a neutral offers an evaluation of likely court outcomes in an effort to promote settlement. The neutral evaluator may also provide attorneys with guidance in case planning and settlement assistance with the parties’ consent.

A skilled neutral will provide additional reality to the case by listening to the disputants’ positions and then providing the parties with a fair evaluation of the case. When in the hands of a skilled evaluator, neutrals offer an end to unrealistic ideas about the probable outcome of the case.

What are the Benefits of Neutral Fact Finding?
A neutral fact finder is often used to investigate a dispute involving technical, economic or other matters. The fact finder spends time analyzing information and data presented by the parties involved. Frequently, time is inadequate to allow attorneys to research findings, particularly in complex cases. Fact finders conduct an independent investigation, providing the attorney with time to focus on the disputed issues.

The fact finder renders an opinion and may be called to testify in court which may greatly increase the chance for settlement. This process can be used as a stand-alone procedure or in combination with another dispute resolution process.

While the traditional use of neutral fact-finding is in conjunction with litigation, it can also be combined with the ADR processes. If the fact-finding is completed in advance of the conference, the moderators are able to be more certain and specific in their evaluation. This could hold true for other ADR processes as well.