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Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution provides a forum other than the administrative and trial courts for resolution of disagreements between affected parties. It serves a dual purpose: to reduce costly and protracted legal proceedings and establish more meaningful lines of communication among participants. Lois Levy is a court-approved mediator and experienced facilitator. LLE can offer you or your organization assistance in resolving matters without attorneys. The following are some common questions about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
How Can ADR Benefit Me or My Company/Organization?
What Types of Situations Are Best Resolved by Dispute Resolution?
Should You or Your Company Consider Mediation?
Who Participates in Mediations?
What Types of Disputes Cannot Be Resolved By the Office of Dispute Resolution?
Where Can I Get More Information?

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
This is a method of bringing parties together to resolve disagreements without the need for legal or administrative intervention. There are three common forms of ADR and LLE engages in the first two of the three which are listed below:

w Mediation involves the affected parties developing a joint resolution of the problem and agreeing on a future course of action. The Office of Dispute Resolution acts as an impartial third party to help the parties explore options for resolution that may not previously have been considered. The majority of mediations handled by the Office of Dispute Resolution are matters that have already been contested and are scheduled for either an administrative hearing or a trial.

w Facilitation involves an informal meeting between the individual or organization and the DEP program, usually before the matter is contested, to ascertain if the parties can mutually resolve whatever differences separate them. The Office of Dispute Resolution structures the meeting so that it focuses on the issues and the ultimate goal, which may be to remediate a site, set a permit compliance schedule or resolve technical issues.

w Arbitration is a formal fact-finding process in which the arbiter can render a judgment on the issues. This judgment can be binding or non-binding. The Office of Dispute Resolution does not engage in arbitration, but can help select qualified arbiters should the parties choose this course.

How Can ADR Benefit Me or My Company/Organization?
w It can reduce litigation costs significantly.
w It can save a lot of time
w It can help establish a more meaningful dialogue among participants.
w It allows you to participate directly in developing a mutually-agreeable solution to the problem

What Types of Situations Are Best Resolved by Dispute Resolution?
w Human Resource issues
w Alleged failure to comply with contractual obligations
w Merger and Aquisition agreements pre-closing
w Pro Se divorce
w Company/Customer disputes

Should You or Your Company Consider Mediation?
You should ask yourself four questions:

w Will litigation solve or end the problem between yourself or your company and the other party?
w Will the litigated result be one which makes sense and one which you or your company will be comfortable with?
w Are there affected third parties that will be satisfied after the problem between you or your company and other party is resolved?
w Can you justify the cost/benefit of litigating the matter?

If you answered No to any of these questions, you may want to consider mediation. The discussions that occur during a mediation are strictly confidential and cannot be used if the matter is ultimately litigated. If a formal mediation session is entered into, both you or your organization and the DEP must sign an agreement stating:
w The parties will mediate in good faith
w Any mutually acceptable decision reached during the mediation will be binding and will have the effect of a contract in any subsequent proceedings
w The parties will not use any information obtained in the mediation in any subsequent proceedings
w The parties will not subpoena the mediator in any subsequent proceedings

Who Participates in Mediation Sessions?
Lois Levy and the person(s) from the affected parties or companies that have the authority to settle the matter. The affected parties or companies can include their attorneys in the mediation session. All sessions are confidential except as required by law. Nothing is shared with the courts if the matter goes to trial.

Need More Information?
Contact Lois Levy at (561) 433-5668 or (877) 995-9976 or email us at info@loislevy.com.

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