Litigation, while sometimes unavoidable, is not always the ideal method to resolve a dispute. A court fight can be lengthy, sometimes well over a year, due to clogged courts with limited resources. It can also be expensive due to the high levels of preparation and equally high standards of evidentiary proof that are sometimes needed to conclude a case. It is a public process and there is no control of the outcome as the decision is entirely in the hands of a judge or jury. There is an alternative.
Private mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in which the parties to a dispute attempt to settle their differences using a process which is private, quick and less expensive than traditional litigation. It may be scheduled before or after litigation has commenced and at a time and location which is convenient and agreed upon by the parties, as opposed to one which is ordered by the court. It is less formal than a courtroom presentation and requires less preparation, although the parties and their attorneys are expected to be fully prepared to discuss all aspects of their case and to demonstrate that they will be able to prove the key elements of that case. Generally, the parties and their attorneys will meet with a trained mediator and make brief summary presentations of their cases. The mediator will then meet with each party separately to help them objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and try to reach an agreed upon compromise resolution. While mediations can be as short as two hours or last several days, the average case is generally dealt with in a half day or less, a favorable comparison to spending several full days in court on the same matter. Mediation also has the advantage of giving the client a certain amount of control over the outcome as the resolution must be arrived at voluntarily, not imposed by the mediator.
The mediators of Wescott, Dyer, Fitzgerald & Nichols are all senior members of the firm and have had extensive experience as mediators and as counsel involved in cases being mediated. Their years of practice and experience in various forms of litigation add to their understanding of issues and their ability to help parties anticipate how a judge or jury may respond to the available evidence. All were trained and certified as mediators by the New Hampshire Superior Court system.
In addition to mediation, this practice group offers arbitration services, where with the permission of the parties they will issue a binding decision as well as neural evaluation where they will give an oral or written opinion as to the likely outcome of the case which may lead to successful settlement discussions between the parties.
Areas of Service:
- Civil Litigation, Including Business Litigation
- Personal Injury
- Real Estate Disputes