August 2014 Bar Bulletin
Statutory Differences Between Mediation, Collaborative Law and Arbitration
By J. Mark Weiss
With statutes governing mediation, collaborative law and arbitration, it's not surprising that many attorneys (not to mention laymen) have misunderstandings about the different purposes, requirements and permissible boundaries of each process. How about you? Try answering these five questions:
1.True or false? Mediation requires attorney involvement.
2.True or false? Arbitration is available as a settlement option within the collaborative law process.
3.True or false? Collaborative law is when lawyers write up what has essentially been resolved through mediation.
4.True or false? To arrive at a mediated agreement, it is necessary to determine how a court might address and resolve the issues.
5.True or false? Arbitration is as confidential as mediation or collaborative law.
If you answered "false" to each of these questions, then you get an A+. If not, it may be time to bone up on the three uniform laws that govern these processes. Each process is unique, yet each can be effective even with significant disagreements.
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