Court annexed arbitration and court sponsored mediation are both forms of court ordered alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR is the use of alternative procedures to resolve disputes without the necessity of a court trial. The US federal courts and most state courts utilize ADR procedures to assist parties in settling their disputes without judicial intervention. Mediation and arbitration are 2 of the most frequently employed types of ADR.
What is court annexed arbitration?
Court annexed arbitration is a mandatory, but usually nonbinding, form of ADR in which a court appoints a neutral third party to act as the arbitrator for the parties’ dispute. Court annexed arbitration is generally used for relatively small cases involving claims for money damages. Court annexed arbitration is believed to be a more efficient and economical process for resolving small cases involving claims for money damages.
How does court annexed arbitration work?
If a party files a lawsuit that is subject to court annexed arbitration, the court will refer the case for arbitration. The court appoints an arbitrator to conduct the arbitration hearing. Most jurisdictions allow the parties to conduct a limited amount of discovery of the other party’s case before the arbitration hearing. The arbitrator will schedule the hearing and notify the parties of the hearing.
At the arbitration hearing, both parties present their evidence and legal arguments to the arbitrator. The arbitrator considers the evidence presented and the legal arguments made by each party and renders a written decision. Each party has a limited period of time to review the arbitrator’s decision and to decide whether to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. If the arbitrator’s decision is acceptable to both parties, the arbitrator’s decision becomes the final decision of the court upon the expiration of the review period. If either party objects to the arbitrator’s decision, then that party may appeal the decision to the court. In most jurisdictions, appeals are by trial de novo, which means that the case is tried by the court as though the arbitration had never occurred.
What is court sponsored mediation?
Court sponsored mediation is a procedure used to help parties to a dispute negotiate an agreed settlement to the dispute. In most jurisdictions, parties to a lawsuit are required to participate in mediation. Although parties to a lawsuit are usually ordered to participate in mediation, the parties are not required to settle their dispute through mediation. In court sponsored mediation, the court appoints a neutral third party to act as a mediator between the parties. The mediator’s role is to facilitate negotiations between the parties. The mediator does not render a decision in a case.
How does court sponsored mediation work?
After the court appoints a mediator, the mediator will usually contact the parties to set a mutually agreeable time and location for the mediation session. At the mediation session, the parties and their respective attorneys appear. Each side usually makes a brief presentation of their case to the mediator and the other side. The mediator then usually separates the parties and shuttles between the parties. The mediator tries to help the parties find common ground which can form the basis for a negotiated settlement. If the parties reach a negotiated settlement, then they will prepare a written settlement agreement that is binding upon the parties. If they do not reach a negotiated settlement, then the case will go back to the court for trial. Mediation proceedings are confidential and neither side may call the mediator to testify at trial.
How does court annexed arbitration differ from court sponsored mediation
The major difference between arbitration and mediation is the role played by the third party neutral. In arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator acts as judge and jury and renders a decision resolving the case. While the arbitrator’s decision is nonbinding, it is a decision on the merits of the case. In contrast, a mediator does not render a decision in the case. The mediator helps the parties find the basis for a mutually acceptable negotiated settlement.
Both arbitration and mediation are forms of ADR which are used to resolve disputes without the necessity of a court trial. Arbitration and mediation differ in that in arbitration, the arbitrator reaches a final decision based on the merits of the case, whereas in mediation, the mediator’s role is to facilitate negotiations between the parties.