Mediation and Arbitration

Because you would rather resolve the issue than go to court.

The attorneys of Katz Korin Cunningham know firsthand that, while powerful, the court room is only one option when it comes to resolving disputes, and it may not be the most cost-effective way. That is why the lawyers of Katz Korin Cunningham are dedicated to weighing approaches that will reach each client's unique goals as efficiently as possible, and that is where Alternative Dispute Resolution comes in.

As steadfast advocates, Katz Korin Cunningham's attorneys have experience in arbitrations and mediations on behalf of our clients. Some of our attorneys also have a special skill set and interest in serving as neutrals (not as advocates) and are called upon by other parties and attorneys to assist them in reaching a solution outside of the courtroom.

With a wide range of practices, the attorneys of Katz Korin Cunningham can offer an experienced viewpoint to help settle all kinds of disputes — whether in litigation or simply involving disagreements that need to find a way for businesses to move forward in their dealings with one another. Whether agreed upon by counsel for the parties or appointed by the courts, our lawyers who arbitrate or mediate claims may be certified by various organizations including the American Arbitration Association.

Katz Korin Cunningham is well-versed in the art of socially distanced arbitration and mediation and provides both services with either in-person or virtual options. Our downtown Indianapolis office building features numerous conference rooms of various sizes. Additionally, various technology platforms allow for the ease of virtually convening individuals throughout the country or across the state making it more convenient for everyone involved.

The range of experience of Katz Korin Cunningham attorneys working as mediators and arbitrators is wide enough to offer solid valuations and creative approaches in many areas from health care to construction, from insurance to products liability, from real estate to business purchase agreements, and many more.

Mediation and Arbitration Practices

Mediation

A form of alternative dispute resolution where the mediator (a neutral third person) is chosen by agreement of counsel to help the parties discuss and try to resolve the dispute.

The mediator gives each side the opportunity to share their positions and arguments about the dispute while shuttling between the parties with information and settlements suggestions and options. Mediation also lets each side hear from a neutral third party — your Katz Korin Cunningham mediator — with plenty of experience in the substantive law at issue with some sense of what each side might hear from a judge or jury.

Following some type of opening statements with everyone together, mediation often involves "shuttle diplomacy" with the mediator going between separate rooms (either physically or virtually) and meeting with the individual parties to help the parties facilitate resolution of the dispute. If a resolution is reached, the mediator may help the parties draft a written settlement agreement which incorporates all the relevant terms.

The great advantage of mediation is the opportunity for the parties to craft a resolution that can be far more creative and comprehensive than a court could impose. In a business dispute, this often results in a continuing opportunity for the opposing parties to move forward to their mutual benefit. In other contexts, such as health care, it can provide the satisfaction of seeing a change in procedures or practices that will prevent similar problems in the future, which can be reassuring for both sides. Cases can be resolved with an exchange of value that might not even involve dollars, though of course, it most often does.

Parties are also able to use mediations to give each side a preview of the risks of a trial and make decisions themselves about what best serves their respective interests and budgets. After all, taking a case to court means that either a judge or jury decides the case; and a mediated settlement in advance of a trial saves the costs of trial for both sides — which can be considerable — and avoids the risk of an adverse outcome.

A court can mandate that a case go to mediation but the parties involved are not required to come to a resolution. The mediator can help the parties find a mutually acceptable resolution but, unlike arbitration, does not have the power to make a decision for the parties. Mediations are usually confidential (unlike court proceedings) which again offers the chance to move past a dispute with less rancor than might be the end result of a court proceeding.

Arbitration

A form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties agree that one (or more) individuals is empowered to make a decision about the resolution of the dispute after receiving the evidence and hearing arguments.

The arbitrator acts as a neutral party and ultimately has the authority to make a decision (just like a judge would make a ruling) about the dispute. Hearings before an arbitrator are more informal than a trial and usually have more relaxed rules of evidence.

There are two types of arbitration processes — binding and non-binding.

  • Binding Arbitration: the decision is final and can be enforced by a court of law; it can only be appealed on very narrow grounds.
  • Non-binding Arbitration: the decision is considered advisory and is only final if both parties accept the decision.

Mediation and Arbitration Team