June 14, 2024

The Rise of Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods on the International Stage

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Alternative dispute resolution methods are becoming major players on the International business stage as part of the post-covid world said Mr. Joseph George co-founder of George & George ADR Group. Alternative dispute resolution, otherwise referred to as ADR, includes mediation, arbitration and business negotiation.  These tools share a very powerful characteristic in that they operate independently from the court system and give the parties both privacy and control over the process.  In the business world, common disputes such as breach of contract, non-compliance or failure to deliver are commonly resolved through mediation and arbitration. Today, alternative dispute resolution methods are facilitated across the globe by local, state, and federal courts, and employed by Fortune 500 to Fortune 1000 companies, as well as government agencies, and non-profits.

Mr. George has worked with celebrity clients who prefer the privacy and confidentiality of mediation.  Celebrity clients who seek to keep their business from the spotlight can use mediation to ensure that the details of their dispute do not become public knowledge.   In addition to the private nature of the mediation process, celebrities will often include NDA non-disclosure agreements as part of the process.  Often celebrities maintain several businesses at once that require multilevel management and unfortunately that comes with all types of challenges.  The privacy and confidentiality of mediation can go a long way towards preserving relationships whether they be personal or business or even a party’s fan base.

Mediation

Mediation is a process in which parties meet with a third-party neutral person who will assist them in negotiating their disagreement.  The neutral mediator is mutually selected by the parties and is present to facilitate the discussion and help the parties reach the optimal solution.  The mediator will help the parties explore the issues at hand and help them tailor a unique resolution to their particular circumstances.  Once a resolution is reached the mediator can help the parties memorialize their agreement so that they can sign it.  

Sometimes mediation is used prior to the filing of an official complaint in court and sometimes it is used as a last-ditch effort to negotiate prior to trial.  Technology such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, GoToMeeting and WebEx have enabled lawyers and mediators to engage in mediations internationally without traveling and without risking covid exposure.

Mediation is advantageous in a myriad of situations including employment conflicts, personal injury cases, small and/or family business conflicts, insurance claims, workplace conflicts, bankruptcy matters, real estate conflicts, as well as conflicts relation to construction matters.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a process in which disputing parties mutually agree to submit their dispute to an arbitrator who has undergone a conflict-of-interest check and who will decide their matter.  The arbitration may be binding or non-binding depending on the agreement stipulated by the parties.  Arbitration is a tool that can be used by individuals, but it is common in business disputes.  In fact, while an agreement to arbitrate can be made after a dispute has already occurred, it is common for business parties to agree to arbitrate any future disputes when their relationship is established.  Many common contracts will include an agreement to arbitrate.  Arbitration is found to be highly useful in patent and trademark matters, complex construction disputes as well as IT matters.

Business Negotiations

Negotiations occur every single day, but when matters are complex, experienced business negotiators use their skills to bargain for the best possible result all while keeping the discussion civil.  A skilled negotiator can work on your behalf to reach the deal you are looking for.  They are common in negotiations involving business agreements, buying, selling, merging and downsizing business, as well as collective bargaining.  

ADR methods have become increasingly popular as Covid-19 created a seemingly endless backlog in the court system.  Courts themselves are pushing cases to be settled through mediation or arbitration in an effort to clear their dockets and to hear only the most pressing matters.  Further, attorneys are advising clients to avoid the lengthy wait times that result from attempting to handle their matter in the court system.  Instead, lawyers are urging their clients to consider the use of mediation or arbitration for a faster, more cost-effective and often less emotionally taxing resolution.

International ADR

Further fueling the fire behind the rise of ADR is the growth in international business activity which has quadrupled over the last ten years.  Business deals that straddle oceans and cross borders are now the norm in today’s global economy and where business dealings happen, conflict naturally follows.  International arbitration is the best method for dealing with international business disputes as arbitration is easily enforced across borders and arbitration provides a neutral forum for international parties.  As an alternative to arbitration or international litigation, international mediation will allow parties to tailor unique solutions to their conflicts with the help of a mediator as a neutral discussion facilitator.  

Joseph George is a founding partner with the George & George ADR Group.  He is a talented and practiced negotiator as well as an experienced  Mediator and Negotiator.  Mr. George has helped countless parties reach their business and professional goals by using his breadth of both industry knowledge and his understanding of ADR process. Mr. George knows that mediation and arbitration can save parties untold frustration as well as the time and expense of litigation.  While mediation and arbitration can only bear fruit when the basis of a party’s wrongdoing can be proven, they are a fantastic first and hopefully last step in resolving your business conflict.

MEDIATION Q & A

Q: DO I NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER?

JG: What I like best about the mediation process is that it doesn’t require a lawyer or the accompanying legal fees.  With that being said, lawyers are welcome in the process and either party may choose to be represented during mediation.

Q: IS MEDIATION CONFIDENTIAL?

JG: A defining characteristic of the mediation process is that it’s confidential. Conversations and communication between both the parties and their legal counsel, if they have any, remain confidential. Further, Mediators keep any information they receive during the process confidential as part of their professional code of conduct.

Q: WHY SHOULD AN INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS CHOOSE MEDIATION?

JG: Mediation allows both parties to resolve their dispute in such a way that both sides can often receive all or part of what they want rather thereby reaching an optimal outcome.  If a matter was brought to court there is a great risk of having a judge make a determination that may not please either party.

Q: HOW CAN PEOPLE REACH YOUR FIRM?

JG: The best way to reach George and George ADR is to go to our website and complete the form on our contact page www.georgeandgeorgeadr.com

Q: HOW CAN I TAKE ANOTHER BUSINESS TO MEDIATION?

JG: To initiate the mediation process with another party, you should begin by choosing a mediator that specializes in your business area or your particular type of conflict.  Your next step is to draft a notice to mediate that includes the reasons you feel mediation is the best option for the resolution of your dispute. If the other business agrees to engage in mediation, you should then contact the mediator who will do a conflict-of-interest check and assuming none is found, will send both parties an engagement letter containing the time, date, cost and location of the mediation as well as an explanation of the process.

Article by

Joseph George, Executive Director, George & George ADR Group
https://georgeandgeorgeadr.com/

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