Nevada residents who are involved in business are most likely aware of the concept of “alternative dispute resolution.” These methods are an alternative to traditional litigation, and include the well-known processes of mediation and arbitration. Many modern corporate contracts contain clauses requiring various issues to be submitted to mediation or arbitration before they end up in a traditional court.
Many legal professionals, however, especially those involved with corporate litigation, look at full litigation on business disputes as the “alternative” to reaching a settlement through other means. For various reasons, including unpredictability, delay, the public nature of the proceedings and the ultimate costs involved, bringing business litigation to a close through a trial is often not ideal. There is one form of alternative resolution that is gaining popularity in Nevada and elsewhere, and that is the use of “med/arb.”
Med/arb is a process by which a dispute between two business entities is brought before a neutral party who will conduct a mediation. Unlike a traditional mediation, however, if the dispute is not resolved the same neutral party will conduct an arbitration hearing and make a decision on the matter.
There are a few advantages to this scheme of dispute resolution. First, information revealed in a mediation is usually considered confidential. Second, there is a certainty that some outcome will be reached according to a set timeline. Third, parties get to tell their sides of the story without having to be in open court and, usually, under a relaxed set of evidentiary and procedural rules.
Of course, the agreement the parties draw up with regard to a med/arb process is very important, and there are many complicated issues that need to be taken into account. Experienced Nevada business litigation attorneys may be best suited for advising business owners and others as to the advantages and feasibility of using such a method of resolution.