• Recent Posts

  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rating

    The Greater Williamsburg area is an exciting place to live and work, especially because of the large number of entrepreneurs who have built businesses from the ground up. These entrepreneurs have taken their passion and made it their profession. Many of us want to take that step. Before you begin, you need to think of the type of business entity you want to form. Our attorneys have extensive business experience, from small one-person companies to publicly traded major corporations. Our attorneys are among the leaders in Virginia in the representation of Common Interest Communities. These communities are generally referred to as "homeowners associations," or "HOAs," and "condominium associations." In the greater Williamsburg area alone, we provide legal assistance to nearly 100 associations. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended a wide array of civil disputes involving community association covenant enforcement, commercial transactions, construction disputes, contracts, real estate matters, boundary line and easement disputes, employment matters, antitrust litigation, copyright violations, administrative proceedings, and estate issues. Real Estate law encompasses a wide variety of matters, and our attorneys have vast experience to assist you. Whether you need assistance with a commercial or residential closing, or you have questions relating to residential or commercial leasing, we provide experienced advice and counsel to our clients. Zoning law can be a complicated maze of statutes and ordinances. We have ample experience in successful applications for rezoning, variance, and special use permit requests. Finally, commercial and residential construction provide special challenges with respect to financing issues and the construction process. We serve as counsel to various financial institutions.
Print This Post

Mediation and Arbitration – There is a big difference

In conversations with clients, it seems that people misuse the terms “mediation” and “arbitration” more than most other legal terms. Although I do not have any empirical data, my educated guess is that many businesses and construction contractors (who did not depend upon advice given by an experienced business attorney) insert “arbitration” clauses into their contracts thinking that they mean “mediation.” Some transactions involving the sale of real estate include an arbitration clause. Countless times, clients involved in a potential lawsuit point to the “arbitration” clause, and are disheartened when I explain to them the arbitration process. Many thought they were avoiding the potential high costs of litigation. These terms are NOT interchangeable and in this blog post I will explain the basic differences between them.

In mediation, an independent third party mediator helps the parties negotiate a resolution. Just like in negotiations, you control the outcome: neither a mediator nor your lawyer can negotiate a resolution without your authorization. A mediator helps facilitate the negotiation, but cannot make decisions or rulings on your case. Our attorneys have extensive experience in mediation. We see mediation as a cost-effective way to reach a settlement agreement and avoid more expensive litigation when initial attempts at negotiation have not been successful. Most importantly, you have some control over the outcome.

Conversely, arbitrations are conducted like regular trials, with a judge-like arbitrator (or multiple arbitrators) making a final decision based upon the evidence presented, and hopefully the law of your jurisdiction. Appeals of an arbitrator’s decision are virtually nonexistent. Because parties choose arbitration to avoid a court trial, the Virginia Supreme Court generally upholds the arbitrator’s award, unless the arbitration process was faulty. In an arbitration, like trial, you have virtually no control over the outcome.

Here is a helpful chart showing the differences and similarities between trials, arbitration and mediation:

ADR chart

Mediation is an excellent alternative to filing a lawsuit or even resolving pending litigation. Arbitration can be an effective alternative way to resolve disputes, however the process is similar to a court trial, just slightly less formal. However, before binding yourself to any form of alternative dispute resolution, consult with your experienced business litigation attorney.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia


Republished by Blog Post Promoter

John Tarley

John is the firm's managing partner and chairs the firm's small business, zoning, and litigation practice areas.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Filed under: Business Planning, General Interest, HOA litigation, John Tarley, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Strategies, State & Federal Litigation by John Tarley

Leave a Reply

« | »
Web Development by OneWaveMedia.Com