Arbitration is a where a dispute is brought before a third party for immediate resolution. The third party (arbitrator), hears evidence presented by both sides and then renders a decision, or ruling.
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) but is different than mediation. In mediation, the third party is neutral and assists the parties and counsel to bring forth a resolution, where essentially the parties and attorneys have control of the outcome. Think of arbitration as very similar to court, where a judge hears the case and then renders a decision. The difference isn’t the outcome itself, as the arbitrator is vested with the power to make the decision, but arbitration is less formal, less expensive than a bench trial with a judge, and can be completed in a short matter of time.
How Arbitration works at Flink Family Law Mediation/Arbitration.
Step One: The parties and counsel agree that the dispute or case will be resolved through arbitration. Step Two: The arbitration hearing is scheduled. Step Three: Arbitration Rules are sent for parties and counsel to execute. A copy of Sample Arbitration Rules can be found HERE: Step Four: Prior to the hearing, respective counsel may, at their discretion, submit an arbitration brief to the arbitrator and the other side. This provides the arbitrator with background information on the dispute in order to better prepare him/her for the issues that will be presented at the hearing. Step Five: At the hearing both sides may present evidence and summary defining their respective positions and what each side feels are an appropriate resolution to the dispute.
Parties and/or counsel may also have witnesses testify at the arbitration, i.e. third parties that may have better knowledge, proof or expertise regarding the issues being presented. Step Six: The arbitrator concludes the hearing and all issues for presentation are closed. In some cases, the arbitrator may allow both sides to present additional documentation after the hearing has concluded if the arbitrator feels that more information is required in order to render a final decision. Step Seven: The arbitrator submits a written ruling (The Arbitration Award) to each side thereby fully resolving the outstanding dispute.
In some cases it can be most beneficial to all involved to settle disputes through arbitration where an “expert” on the issues can be the person making the decisions. With a wealth of business and personal experience in Family Law, Andy Flink has conducted arbitrations that bring forth finality to cases for parties, allowing each side to move on without having to bear the cost and delay that court can bring.
Both Meredith Ditchen-Oakley and Erica Arena-Camarillo bring years of experience as attorneys in Family Law as well. Their respective experience presenting cases to the Court and representing clients make them perfect candidates for your arbitration as well.