Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) provides a full range of out-of-court mediation and arbitration services to private individuals, attorneys, business, labor and the insurance community.
Informal and non adversarial, the non-binding procedures of mediation consist of parties agreeing upon an impartial mediator to hear the relevant facts of a dispute and the position of each party.
Mediators are trained and experienced in assisting parties to reach their own negotiated dispute resolution. Approximately 90 percent of the disputes submitted to mediation reach settlement and avoid further litigation.
As in most states, Massachusetts law allows parties to choose arbitration, rather than trial in the court system, to reach final resolution of their disputes. Parties agree on an impartial arbitrator with training and experience in the specific area of law involved in the dispute.
The arbitrator conducts a hearing in which parties present witnesses, documents, and evidence in support of their case. The arbitrator then renders a decision which is final and legally binding.
MDRS encourages parties to consider this format, which is designed to minimize the risks of both parties in proceeding to binding arbitration.
Without disclosure to the arbitrator selected, parties agree in writing to a minimum and maximum arbitration award. After hearing the case, the decision of the arbitrator is binding but can be no greater than or less than the minimum and maximum amounts agreed upon earlier by all parties.
Presided over by one or more highly qualified attorneys or retired judges selected by the parties, a mini-trial is a summarized presentation of a civil trial. A verdict is issued that is non-binding on the parties.
The process has been used effectively in complex cases as an informational guide to yield subsequent settlement.
In certain disputes it may be advantageous for parties to engage an impartial fact-finder to conduct a hearing, Skilled in the specific area of law involved in their dispute, the fact-finder hears witnesses, reviews documents and evidence as presented by the parties, and renders a written finding.
Depending upon the agreement of the parties, these findings may be binding or non-binding in accordance with applicable laws and used as a basis for subsequent dispute resolution.