What Is Mediation And How Does It Work? Mediation is an informal and flexible process agreed upon by the parties to a dispute, mandated by a contract between the parties to a dispute, or ordered by a Court. The parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person referred to as a mediator or neutral who assists them in reaching a settlement. The mediator’s job is to help foster a dialogue between the parties and help the parties understand and clarify each other’s relative positions and points of view. The mediator does not act as a judge and has no power to order a decision or force the parties to resolve their dispute. The mediator does not give legal advice or provide representation to anyone in the mediation process. Similarly, the mediator does not take sides, or tell parties what they should do. Through joint sessions with the parties, their lawyers, and the mediator present, in combination with separate caucuses each of the parties, the mediator helps both sides define the issues clearly, understand each other’s position and move to resolution. The mediator may also help the parties brainstorm avenues of resolution or some or all of the issues and, if an agreement is reached, the mediator will help write out the terms of the decisions reached among the parties.
As a lawyer with 20 years of experience in lawyer, accountant and other professional liability matters on behalf of clients, Mr. Chandler has participated and successfully resolved business and legal disputes for hundreds of clients. By providing efficient, cost-effective, and impartial ways of overcoming barriers at any stage of conflict, Mr. Chandler offers customized dispute resolution services through a combination of industry-specific experience and first-class service to each party and their counsel.
Mediation is not limited to just a few hours or a day-long session. It can be a process lasting several days, and a process at which Mr. Chandler excels. As a trained and registered mediator with Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, Mr. Chandler works diligently every step of the way—from pre-mediation calls and preparation to post-mediation follow-up—helping all parties arrive at the best possible outcome for their dispute. Once hired by the parties, Mr. Chandler is a neutral on the case long before the actual day of mediation, and he does not consider his job done until settlement terms are memorialized in a Settlement Memorandum and signed by the parties. Mr. Chandler is truly committed to the entire mediation process, from beginning to written resolution, as long as that process may take.
Arbitration is a method of resolving disputes outside of court. Parties refer their disputes to an arbitrator who reviews the evidence, listens to the parties, and then makes a decision. The arbitration process more formal than mediation, but is less formal than a courtroom hearing or trial and often less expensive.
Most arbitrations arise because of an arbitration clause in a contract, in which the parties have agreed to resolve any disputes arising out of the contract through arbitration. Arbitration clauses can be simple only mandating the arbitration process but allowing the parties to later agree on other factors, or the arbitration clause can complex contractually controlling such things as the number of arbitrators to hear and decide the dispute, how the arbitrator(s) will be selected, where the arbitration will take place, the choice of law to govern the arbitration, who will pay for attorneys’ fees, and whether the final arbitration award must be kept confidential. Arbitration clauses can be mandatory or voluntary and, by agreement of the parties, the arbitrator’s decision can be binding or nonbinding.
Mr. Chandler has arbitrated claims involving breach of contract, attorney fees, legal malpractice, and breaches of fiduciary duties on behalf of clients with damage claims exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars. As a certified and registered arbitrator, Mr. Chandler will bring those past experiences and training to cases in which he is asked to serve as an arbitrator.