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Arbitration Mediation in Southwest Florida

Arbitration is different from Mediation in a few ways. Mediators are neutral parties and do not make a ruling or award a decision. Mediators work with the parties to help resolve a conflict in order to write a legally binding agreement that the parties have decided upon. Arbitrators, are decision makers.

Typically, arbitration has been agreed upon in a contract you've signed as a way to resolve an issue without litigating. The parties will hire an arbitrator or depending upon the complexity of the case, an arbitration panel. Arbitrators, like Christina Florand, will hear both side of the case and look at the legal backing each side has brought forward for their contract. The Arbitrator will then award a decision based upon the evidence presented.

Arbitration can be used in a variety of situations to resolve disputes privately and efficiently. However, the specific steps involved will depend on the nature of your dispute and the relevant arbitration rules or clauses. Here's a general overview of how you might use arbitration:

Before a dispute arises:

  • Include an arbitration clause in your contracts: This clause specifies that any future disputes arising from the contract will be settled through arbitration. This can be a good way to ensure that you have a faster and less expensive way to resolve any future issues.

  • Choose an arbitration provider: There are many different arbitration providers, each with their own rules and procedures. Christina uses a mediation/arbitration hybrid which first allows the parties the opportunity with her help to find a resolution that is agreeable to the parties' involved. Only if the parties are unable to reach a solution will Christina award a decision.

When a dispute arises:

  • Initiate arbitration: Contact Florand Mediation/Arbitration and file a request for arbitration. This will typically involve filing a document outlining the nature of the dispute and the relief you are seeking.

  • Select arbitrators: If the arbitration clause or rules don't specify how arbitrators will be chosen, you and the other party will need to agree on one or more arbitrators to hear the case. Florand Mediation/Arbitration works with several Arbitrators in the area to cooridinate an arbitration panel, should that be required.

  • Discovery: This is the process of gathering evidence and information from both sides. During discovery, both parties may be asked to provide documents, answer questions, and allow witnesses to be interviewed.

  • Hearing: The arbitrator or arbitrators will hold a hearing where each party can present their case. This typically involves opening statements, witness testimony, and the presentation of evidence.

  • Decision: After the hearing, the arbitrator or arbitrators will deliberate and issue a binding decision on the dispute. This decision is usually final and cannot be appealed in court.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Arbitration is consensual: Both parties must agree to use arbitration for it to be binding.

  • Arbitration can be expensive: While it can be cheaper than litigation, arbitration still involves significant costs, such as arbitrator fees and expert witness fees.

  • Limited discovery: Compared to court proceedings, discovery in arbitration is often more limited, which can mean less evidence is presented.

  • Limited appeals: Arbitration awards are generally final and cannot be appealed in court except on very narrow grounds.

Additional resources:

Florand Mediation/Arbitration offers a Free 30-minute Phone Consultation to discuss your specific situation and determine whether arbitration is the right option for you.