Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method of resolving disputes without having to proceed to trial. Arbitration uses a neutral third party, usually a licensed arbitration attorney or judge, who reviews the facts of the case and makes legally binding or non-binding decisions. Another form of ADR is mediation, which also involves a neutral third party who acts as a mediator to assist the parties in resolving their dispute.
At Kenny, Brimmer, & Mahoney LLC, we have attorneys who have acted as licensed arbitrators and mediators in a wide variety of cases. Our attorneys have been appointed arbitrators by the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court, and have been frequently selected to act as mediators for attorneys in Connecticut and surrounding states. Additionally, our attorneys are members of several alternative dispute resolution services. In 2014, Attorney Mahoney was invited to join the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals of which he is now a member due to his expertise in arbitrations and mediations.
Our attorneys have also participated in numerous arbitrations and mediations for our clients. We have a thorough understanding of the process and vigorously advocate for our clients. Our attorneys also have extensive experience as trial attorneys, and are therefore in a unique position to advise clients as to whether proceeding with litigation or exploring mediation or arbitration is a better alternative.
Arbitration can be binding or non-binding, which means that if the arbitration is binding, the arbitrator’s decision is final and not subject to appeal. However, if the arbitration is non-binding, then the decision is not final and can be appealed.
In arbitration, each party will present his or her case to the arbitrator, and the arbitrator will discuss some possible solutions until the parties can reach an agreement. An advantage of arbitration is that it is often a less expensive and more expeditious method of resolving cases than resolving cases by litigation in court. However, not all types of cases are appropriate for arbitration; it depends on the subject matter of the case. For example, to be eligible for court-ordered arbitration at the Connecticut Superior Court, only civil cases where the judgment is expected to be $50,000 or less, and there has been a claim for a jury trial, and a certificate for closed pleadings has been filed, are eligible for arbitration. To view the judicial branch of Connecticut’s web page on ADR, click on the following link: Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs.
If you are interested in private arbitration (an arbitration that is not court-sponsored), our attorneys are available to act as arbitrators, and have been selected to act as arbitrators in cases involving complex issues in a variety of areas of law.
The mediation process is an informal one that is confidential. During mediation, the parties express their positions and concerns, determine the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and explore the possible outcome if the case was not settled. The mediator acts as a facilitator, helping parties explore ways to resolve their disputes without having to go to trial. Further, in mediation, the mediator does not issue a decision.
One type of mediation is court-annexed mediation that works essentially the same way as mediation that is conducted privately. The main difference is that the parties can request, or the judge may order, mediation for particular cases. At the Connecticut Superior Court, for court-annexed mediation, only civil and family actions that require more than a half-day pretrial settlement conference are eligible for mediation.
Our attorneys are skilled advocates with extensive litigation experience and are also experienced negotiators with experience with alternative dispute resolution methods. If your case is subject to court-annexed mediation, court-ordered arbitration, private arbitration, or private mediation, we are available to act as qualified and knowledgeable arbitrators and mediators. In the alternative, if you are a party to a lawsuit and considering ADR, we can protect your interests during arbitrations and mediations. We provide cost-effective services, and can handle all stages of litigation. To consult with one of our attorneys regarding your legal matter, contact us today.