Welcome to Tim Slavin, ADR Services. Thank you for visiting.
I am a retired trial court judge. After 26 years on the bench, I am now engaged in the business of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to assist parties in resolving their differences outside of the tension, uncertainty and, often, acrimony of the court room setting.
There are two primary modes of ADR.
Arbitration is a proceeding in which a third party neutral, an “arbitrator,” after considering the evidence presented, makes a decision resolving a dispute in a more informal and relaxed setting than a courtroom. The parties, in effect, hire their own “private judge” who conducts a confidential trial.
Mediation is the process of assisting parties in a dispute to reach their own voluntary agreement resolving their differences. A third party neutral, called a “mediator,” utilizes facilitative or evaluative techniques to bring them together.
Lawyers typically believe that clients judge them according to the size of the outcome they deliver when the case is finished. They do not think clients are particularly concerned with how the problem is solved. Interviews with clients, however, suggest a different conclusion. Clients care most about the process by which their problems or disputes are resolved.
One important element of both forms of alternative dispute resolution is the feeling on the part of clients that they have had a more meaningful opportunity to participate in that process, and research suggests that clients who feel that they have participated in the process are much more accepting of the outcomes, irrespective of what those outcomes are. In doing so, they place great weight on having their problems or disputes settled in a way that they view as fair, and so it is critical to engage a consistently fair minded neutral.