How Mediation, Summary Jury Trials and Arbitration Works at BHPK
Many disputes can and should be resolved through mediation. Mediation spares the parties the cost, time and emotional toll of litigation. It is almost never too early or too late to consider mediation. An early mediation can avoid a lawsuite while a later one can avoid a lengthy and costly appeal. We offer full mediation and aribtration services at Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, LLP. What distinguishes our firm’s services from those provided by mediation companies is that we maintain a daily contact with clients and are never detached from the real world of client needs.
Our Mediation Group Leader, Judge Paul A. Chernoff (Ret.), served thirty-six years on the bench resolving countless cases on both a formal and informal basis. He well understands the values and motivations of parties and knows the worth and chemistry of a case. Having presided over Superior Court and District Court jury-waived trials across the Commonwealth, Judge Chernoff is superbly qualified to mediate and arbitrate the full spectrum of civil disputes.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative method of resolving disputes in which the parties select a neutral third person — a mediator — to evaluate a controversy and help the parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation is non-binding, and either party can end the negotiations at any time before a settlement. Information received at mediation is confidential and cannot be revealed in court or elsewhere.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is also an alternative method of resolving a dispute where a neutral third person actually decides the merits of a dispute after considering the presentation of evidence and positions of the parties. The arbitrator’s decision is reduced to a writing that summarizes the findings of fact and their applicability to the relevant law. The issues to be arbitrated may be set out in a previous agreement between the parties. Otherwise, the parties must present the arbitrator with a written agreement that specific issues be resolved by arbitration. Although arbitration resembles a jury-waived trial, the rules of evidence are ordinarily relaxed and the environment is less formal. The arbitrator may make pre-hearing rulings to assist the parties in the discovery process. Sometimes the issues are narrowed with the resolution of pre-hearing motions.
How Mediation with BHPK Works
Mediation with our Boston, Massachusetts law firm begins when you select us to mediate your controversy. Ensuring that we have no conflicts of interest in mediating your dispute, we then ask both parties to submit a case overview and schedule a mutually agreeable date, time, and place for the mediation. Ordinarily, mediations are held at our offices at One Exeter Plaza in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, but we are also amenable to traveling to other locations that best suit the parties and their counsel.
At the opening session with all participants present, the mediator will explain the important principles of mediation: that the proceedings are confidential, that any party can leave and terminate the proceedings at any time before a settlement is reached, and that the mediator’s role is to facilitate a settlement and offer advice, if solicited, on how to resolve the matter. The participants are also informed that the mediator does not act as an attorney and therefore will not give legal advice. Each party will have an opportunity to present a short description of their case and suggest why they chose mediation. Unless the parties agree otherwise, attendance at the mediation is limited to the parties and their representatives. An ultimate decision maker for each party must be present and participate in the mediation.
During the mediation, the mediator will usually have a series of separate meetings with the parties and their counsel. Although the mediator conveys offers of settlement between the parties, the mediator will not disclose any information conveyed in confidence to the mediator by a participant. The mediator may bring the participants back to a joint session during the mediation process and after settlement if the parties desire. Settlements are always memorialized in writing.
We know that mediation is a very important and solemn endeavor for all involved. We also know that it is a very human undertaking that is advanced by civility, flexibility, open mindedness and mutual respect. We resolve to make the experience a pleasant one.
We endeavor to be flexible and are open to fashioning mediation or arbitration around the particular needs and desires of the parties and counsel. To schedule a confidential consultation with a mediator or arbitrator, or to simply learn more about our alternative dispute resolution service, please call our Boston law office at (617) 880-7100 or complete our online contact form. Please ask for Ms. Kimberly Bellerose if you wish to contact or work specifically with Judge Chernoff and feel free to e-mail him at [email protected]