Do you or your organization have a dispute of some kind that needs to be resolved? Does resolution seem impossible, too expensive, too public? Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may be helpful to aid in resolving your disputes in a private, cost-effective manner without traditional litigation. Alternative Dispute Resolution can take a variety of formats, but most common in our practice are Mediation, Arbitration and Consensual Special Magistrate.
Mediation is an informal process in which our attorneys experienced in mediation are a neutral third party that helps opposing parties reach a negotiated resolution that is legally binding. Mediation can often save the parties money and time, and provide privacy and more creative outcomes for parties, especially when entered into sooner rather than later.
Arbitration is a well-established and widely used means to end disputes. It provides parties to a controversy with a choice other than litigation. Unlike litigation, Arbitration takes place out of court: the two sides select an impartial third party, known as an arbitrator; agree in advance to comply with the arbitrator’s award; and then participate in a hearing at which both sides can present evidence and testimony. The arbitrator’s decision is usually final.
The Consensual Special Magistrate process involves the parties presenting their positions to a neutral in the same manner as a civil lawsuit is presented to a judge. This process is binding and includes the right of appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. This process is often quicker and more cost-effective than district court litigation and the parties can mutually select the person who decides their dispute.
The State of Minnesota Court System has a process to qualify neutrals for ADR processes. Blethen Berens has three Qualified Rule 114 Neutrals on our team that regularly handle ADR processes: Jim Turk, Julia Ketcham Corbett and Alyssa Thibert Nelson. Being a Qualified Rule 114 Neutral means they have completed 30 hours of civil mediation skills training. Additionally, Julia Ketcham Corbett has completed the additional 40 hours of family mediation skills training to be a qualified family law neutral. Jim Turk focuses his practice exclusively on Mediation and Arbitration and has been consistently recognized as one of Minnesota’s Top 40 Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers.
Additionally, lawyers do not have to undergo training to serve as a neutral if they are selected by parties and/or attorneys based on their subject-matter expertise and experience. Our lawyers who are not Rule 114 Qualified neutrals are called upon regularly to assist as neutrals in ADR processes.
Our attorneys are regularly hired by parties and their counsel as a neutral third party to help two or more parties define the issues clearly from their perspective, understand their positioning and help them determine their own resolution of the issues or determine a resolution of the issues for them.
The Blethen Berens office has a comfortable arrangement of conference rooms to allow us to serve numerous parties in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Call us for information on how we might help you resolve your dispute.