Our counsel covers the spectrum of concerns and questions employers and employees face every day. We work proactively with our business clients to take measures that minimize risk and liability. We work with our business clients as partners in prevention, reviewing their materials and policies, providing awareness training to their employees on discrimination, harassment and other workplace issues, and advising them before they take employment-related actions to avoid any adverse consequences.
By knowing our clients and their interests and goals, we are better equipped to assist them in resolving disputes that may arise, either by utilizing cutting edge procedures like collaborative law and early mediation, or by representing them in litigation or arbitration.
Our areas of focus include:
- Employment and Separation Agreements;
- Marital Mediation;
- Employment handbooks, manuals, policies, and procedures;
- Hiring, performance reviews and termination matters;
- Discrimination, diversity and harassment issues;
- Wage and hour law matters; and
- Unemployment and workers’ compensation.
Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows parties to seek a remedy for their conflict without a court trial. Parties work with a mediator, who is a neutral third party. Usually mediators have received some training in negotiation or their professional background provides that practical experience.
Unlike a judge, a mediator does not decide who wins; rather, a mediator facilitates communication between the parties and helps identify issues and solutions. The goal is for parties to reach an acceptable agreement.
Mediation can be an appealing option because it is less adversarial and costly. This might be important when the relationship between the parties has to continue in the future, such as between a divorcing couple with children. The process is also less formal than court proceedings. Mediation often costs less than litigation, which is another benefit. Another advantage to using mediation is that it generally takes much less time than a traditional lawsuit. Litigation can drag on for years, but mediation can typically be completed within a few months. Court systems are embracing mediation and other forms of ADR in an effort to clear their clogged dockets. There are some programs that are voluntary, but in some jurisdictions, pursuing ADR is a mandatory step before a lawsuit can proceed.
Mediation can be used in a variety of cases, and it is sometimes required by a contract between the parties. Mediators can be found through referrals from courts or bar associations, and there are companies that specifically provide ADR services. Ideally, a mediator will have some training or background in the area of law related to your dispute.
Mediation is often a successful way to reach a settlement. If parties fail to resolve their conflict, information learned during mediation might be protected as confidential under state law. Contact Hutchings Barsamian Mandelcorn, LLP today to help determine if mediation would be a valuable tool to resolve your case.