Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to any method of settling a legal dispute outside of the courtroom such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration.  Although first and foremost we are experienced trial lawyers, at Cooper Sevillano we also have decades of experience at negotiating claims and utilizing pre-trial resolution techniques such as mediation and arbitration.  We prepare every case for trial but are open to utilizing ADR methods when they can provide the best outcome for our clients.

 

Mediation is a less formal alternative to litigation.  Mediators are neutral parties who attempt to assist opposing parties in working out a settlement before a case goes to trial.  Mediation can be a good alternative to trial where a party strongly desires to settle and avoid prolonged litigation.  Mediation can also present a good opportunity for the parties to air their positions and evaluate the potential for pre-trial settlement. One of the advantages of mediation is that the process is entirely voluntary and the proceedings are not made public.

 

Like Mediation, arbitration is less formal than trial.  It differs from mediation in several crucial ways.  Essentially, an arbitration is a simplified version of a trial before a neutral arbitrator.  Discovery is limited and the rules of evidence in play are less complex.  Like a trial, the decision of the arbitrator is generally binding on the parties.  Arbitration has some distinct advantages.  Unlike a trial which can last weeks or months, an arbitration hearing generally lasts from a few days to a week.  The arbitrator’s decision is not a public record.  Arbitration can be an excellent option for those who want to avoid a prolonged trial.

 

Attorney Gerald H. Cooper has been recognized as a leading neutral in Connecticut.  He has dedicated the latter part of his legal career to providing comprehensive ADR services in accident and malpractice cases.  He has arbitrated numerous accident and malpractice claims.  His skills as a mediator and arbitrator have often been sought by individuals, private companies and the courts.  This invaluable experience sets Cooper Sevillano apart from most law firms.

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