Skilled Seattle, Washington Arbitration and Mediation Attorneys
When your legal dispute is referred for arbitration or mediation, it’s important to remember you are still involved in an adversarial legal process. You are entering an unfamiliar arena, where your opponent is likely to have a distinct advantage. Moreover, if you agree to binding arbitration, you are giving up any and all rights to appeal the decision.
What’s the difference between arbitration and mediation? Mediation can be seen as the first step in a two-step process. During mediation, parties may argue over the interpretation of a clause in a contract or a fair award for damaged property. The arbitrator works with them to forge an agreement. He does not impose a result, but rather helps them achieve it. If the parties can’t agree, the dispute might move to arbitration, where a neutral arbitrator listens, then renders a decision. In non-binding arbitration, the parties can reject the decision, then move on to binding arbitration or trial. In binding arbitration, parties agree to abide by whatever the arbitrator decides and there is no appeal.
Each stage of this process requires preparation, execution and high-level decision-making, weighing costs and benefits and anticipating consequences. Attorney Craig C. Beles approaches arbitration as he would a trial: meticulously preparing your case, researching relevant law and weaving material facts into a compelling narrative asserting your cause.
Why arbitrate? Arbitration is designed to reach a fair outcome without the expense and time of a trial. When it is voluntary, arbitration helps many people who might otherwise be shut out of the justice system by high costs. However, arbitration is still an adversarial process, with each side presenting their case and rebutting their opponent’s. This is especially true if your opponent is a corporation with a mandatory arbitration clause in its contract and a staff of lawyers on retainer who specialize in denying claims like yours. Now you’re arbitrating because you must. You need The Beles Group to deliver the professionalism it takes to match a strong opponent.
If the arbitrator’s neutral, why do I need a lawyer? A trial judge would also be neutral. But, if you wouldn’t represent yourself in court, you should be even less inclined to try it in arbitration, which is privately funded by those who use the system. The American Arbitration Association has rules designed to root out overt favoritism, but large corporations with arbitration requirements hire an awful lot of arbitrators, and the arbitrators appreciate the business. The Beles Group knows the system, and their knowledge is power for you to assure an outcome based upon the merits of your case.
Contact a determined Seattle, Washington arbitration and mediation firm If your dispute has been referred for arbitration or mediation, don’t delay. Contact The Beles Group to schedule an initial consultation. Call 206.623.9119 or contact the firm online today.