What to Expect — For Everyone Else
Results to expect:
You get valuable results from an effective dispute resolution process. Using a skilled mediator can bring relief from the frustration of ongoing disputes. In binding arbitration a capable decider allows you an impartial, dispassionate and focused procedure to provide a just and fair conclusion. From the completed process you can:
- Expect the full and final resolution of your dispute.
- Expect relief from the stress of conflict.
- Expect escape from the high cost of ongoing litigation.
The process of conflict settlement is not magic. It requires from each party a desire to end the dispute and a commitment to earnestly pursue resolution. Focus on the goal of a fair, but not perfect, outcome. Be ready in good faith to hear and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the valid perspective of opposing parties.
- Expect compromise.
- Expect to take less or give more than you wish, in exchange for the greater benefit of finality and relief.
With A Neutral View
- Expect Charles Kahn to be prepared with a thorough understanding of the information, documents and exhibits you and your lawyer have submitted in advance.
- Expect a comfortable and supportive environment for the work of dispute resolution.
- Expect to have your point of view heard and respected.
- Expect your questions about the settlement process to be answered.
- Expect some pain and frustration that comes with compromise, but keep in mind the goal and benefits of final resolution.
Here’s the Step by Step Process:
One advantage of selecting a skilled facilitator (mediator or binding arbitrator) is that the process of settlement will be specifically tailored to your case. With A Neutral View Charles Kahn uses a variety of techniques to bring the parties to a mutually acceptable solution (as opposed to a cookie-cutter method of attempting to extract agreement). Nevertheless, the following are steps that are often used, depending on the particularities of each matter:
Before the session:
- Initially the parties to a dispute or their lawyers agree to use A Neutral View to assist in the resolution of the matter. They arrange a conference call or one of them calls or emails Charles Kahn to describe the dispute and establish a meeting date.
- A Neutral View emails to each lawyer (or unrepresented party) a confirmation of the engagement and a request for materials. By return email, each attorney (or party) commits to proceed and submits a statement of the facts and issues, attaching all significant documents (including original contracts, scanned photos, relevant medical records, etc.). Each side may designate any of the items to be kept confidential, not be disclosed to any other party.
- It is advisable you to meet with your attorney well in advance of the mediation or binding arbitration session to consider the key matters to be addressed (if you are doing this without a lawyer, ask a trusted friend to help).
- Develop a list of the important points you want to get across in the session and analyze your case to establish the best and worst outcomes that may come from a court decision if the case is not resolved.
- Put yourself in the place of an opposing party to imagine the concerns of that side in order to better view the strength of your own position.
- Finally, determine what you seek as an outcome of the dispute, and also, the minimum — least favorable — outcome you can accept.
At our meeting:
- The location of the dispute resolution session can be any place of convenience to the parties.
- Always available at no additional cost is the mediation suite of A Neutral View. The suite is on the 6th floor of one of Milwaukee’s first and finest office buildings, the Colby Abbot Building, built in 1885. We have free parking at the valet-operated Colby Abbot Garage, healthy snacks in addition to fresh water, coffee and tea, Wi-Fi throughout the suite and advanced technology, such as large display screens and a color hi-res scanner/printer.
In the mediation process:
- Often the all the parties and their lawyers initially meet together as a group. Charles Kahn gives a brief overview of the process. In most cases the parties with their lawyers then move to separate break-out rooms for private discussions with the mediator. In some cases each party may get the opportunity to briefly explain your perspective of the issues in dispute before moving to separate rooms. If so, the statements will be calm, courteous and respectful of the views of the others.
- The mediator moves between the break-out rooms for individual discussions with each side. In the private sessions, you can speak freely and passionately about the matters most important to you. The mediator may ask questions about the facts of the case and the outcome you would hope to see. You will be given the opportunity to consider and discuss with the mediator the arguments and proposals of the other side. You, then (not the mediator) will make a proposal for the mediator to take back to the other party or parties.
- Back and forth the mediator moves between the rooms. While hearing from a different party, you and your lawyer can converse about the developments and options as they evolve. The mediation suite of A Neutral View has healthy snacks, coffee, tea and other beverages that you can enjoy while Charles Kahn is in discussion with others.
- Normally there is a substantial spread between the initial offers and proposals of each party. As the process continues, the skilled mediator helps each side re-view the case to reduce the gap and, after substantial effort, to close it entirely.
- When everyone has agreed to the details of the settlement, Charles Kahn assures that a summary of the agreement is prepared for each party to review and sign. Copies of the signed agreement will be produced for each person present. This document is a contract between the parties which covers the issues resolved and will result in the dismissal or avoidance of any lawsuit based upon those issues.
- The matter is then complete with you relieved of the high cost and nagging stress of the issues that brought you to A Neutral View. Yippee!
In the binding arbitration hearing:
- The procedure normally used for binding arbitration is similar to a courtroom trial with no jury. Instead of a judge, the arbitrator will make decisions on each issue in the overall dispute. In many cases there will be one decider – the arbitrator. In some cases, there will be three arbitrators, serving together.
- Some of the work can be done before the arbitration hearing by delivering to the arbitrator(s) all exhibits (documents and photos) and briefs (written arguments) in advance.
- At the hearing, the parties may agree or the presiding arbitrator may determine that some evidence that would not be normally allowed for use in a courtroom be accepted for consideration in arbitration. This would apply only if the evidence is reliable and its acceptance helps to expedite the matter and reduce costs for the parties.
- The session will begin with an introduction of the issues by the presiding arbitrator followed by opening comments from each party and/or lawyer. With A Neutral View, the procedure is considerably less ceremonial than a courtroom trial. Charles Kahn seeks the input of the parties and their attorneys as to the particular formalities to be applied. In any event, the process will be efficient but never intimidating.
- In most cases, people with helpful information for the arbitrator(s) will be called as witnesses to testify. They will take an oath or affirm their commitment to tell the truth, then answer questions asked by people representing all sides of the dispute. The arbitrator(s) will review documents and other exhibits. The parties or their lawyers will normally be given an opportunity to summarize the evidence before a decision is reached by the arbitrator(s).
- After the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator(s) will prepare and send to all sides a written decision addressing every matter presented for resolution. If there is more than one arbitrator, the decision of a majority becomes the decision of the panel.
- The arbitration “award” is legally binding as a final resolution of the matters addressed. The result is the dismissal or avoidance of any lawsuit based upon those issues.
- The case is then complete and you are relieved of the high cost and nagging stress of the issues that brought you to A Neutral View.