A neutral is a neutral party who acts as a mediator or arbitrator to resolve the parties’ issues, similar to a judge or negotiator.
Arbitration requires a voluntary written agreement between the parties. If you do not already have a written agreement, and both sides to the dispute wish to arbitrate, please contact us for a standard arbitration agreement. Even cases that have started in court may be submitted to arbitration if both sides agree. This works particularly well for cases that are ready for trial but are waiting a long time for a trial date from the court.
Mediation is a voluntary process that can be started any time between two parties to a dispute – before it gets to court, while it is in court, even on the courthouse steps. After both parties decide they want to try mediation, contact Laura for next steps.
This is up to the parties. However, most cases take 3-4 months to resolve beginning to end.
Once appointed as the arbitrator Laura will hold a prehearing conference, issue an order with deadlines for the rest of the process, allow limited discovery if requested, and then conduct a hearing. Awards are typically issued within 14 days of hearing.
This is up to the parties. However, most cases take 2-3 months to mediate.
Once requested as a mediator, Laura will conduct preliminary calls with both sides to understand their issues and positions. She will then conduct a premediation conference to set out the parameters of the mediation. Parties may send in prehearing statements, and then proceed to a mediation hearing which usually takes a day. Any settlement may be written up on the day of the mediation.