Skilled Menlo Park, California Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys
We handle cases in the following areas of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR):
- Private Judging
Generally, our ADR services involve Family Law cases. However, we also offer services as a Mediator, Arbitrator, or Private Judge in cases in other areas of the law.
In cases where the parties are unable to resolve the issues between themselves, some form of dispute resolution must be utilized. The reason why ADR processes have become increasingly popular, and urged by the courts, is that litigation of cases in the court system is lengthy and expensive, with the parties often dealing with judges, over an extended period of time, who have little or no familiarity with the case and its “history.”
Mediation: In family law cases, and in most other cases, the mediator is selected by the parties (or the court). The mediator does not represent either party and has no decision-making authority. Instead, the mediator serves in a neutral capacity, as part of a confidential process, to assist the parties in reaching agreements. Meetings are usually held at the mediator’s office and are conducted in an informal atmosphere. The parties may choose to participate in mediation with or without attorneys present.
Arbitration: In Arbitration cases, the arbitrator, who is selected by the parties (or the court), serves in a neutral capacity and does have decision-making authority. The arbitrator hears evidence and arguments of the parties and witnesses at hearings, similar to being in court. However, the process is handled in a much more expedited manner, with meetings and hearings generally held at the arbitrator’s office. The parties may choose to participate in arbitration with or without attorneys present.
Private Judging: In Private Judging cases, the parties select a person to serve in a neutral capacity as a “private judge.” The private judge may be retained to handle the entire case, including hearings and trials (referred to as an “all-purpose” judge), to serve only as a settlement judge, or to decide only certain issues in the case. In each situation, a stipulation is filed with the court to give the private judge the appropriate authority to handle the assigned issues or tasks. The advantages of using a private judge include (i) selecting the person to serve as the judge, (ii) significantly greater access to the judge for scheduling purposes and resolution of issues, (iii) substantial expedition of the process, and (iv) having a judge who is familiar with the case and its “history.”
Contact an experienced California ADR law firm.
Don’t delay if you feel your dispute could benefit from the fast track of alternative dispute resolution. Reach out to Law Offices of Clifford Ross Chernick to schedule a consultation at our Menlo Park office. Call 650-327-5570 or contact us online today.