Med/Arb is a hybrid dispute resolution approach that combines the benefits of both Mediation and Arbitration. It provides the parties with increased flexibility and control over dispute resolution. Med/Arb affords the parties the opportunity for control over the outcome that Mediation allows while providing the finality of Arbitration in the event of impasse.
As the name suggests, the parties engage in a full Mediation conducted by a neutral. If the Mediation is successful, the case is concluded. If the Mediation results in impasse, the parties move to Arbitration at an agreed upon date. If some of the issues remain unresolved by Mediation, the parties submit those issues to Arbitration. Typically, the parties utilize a different “neutral” to serve as Arbitrator to allow for full and confidential disclosure of information to the Mediator.
- Provides the parties with initial control over the decision making process while allowing for a conclusive decision in the event of impasse.
- Parties take the Mediation process more seriously knowing finality is right around the corner.
- Parties determine the form of Arbitration (binding/nonbinding, high/low, etc.)
- Parties can decide on using the same neutral for Mediation and Arbitration based on comfort level, cost and timing concerns.
In the appropriate case, Med/Arb can be an effective dispute resolution technique that allows for flexibility, control and finality.