What advice do you have for parties coming before you in ADR?

From Richard's interview for the Masters of Business Law series on ReelLawyers.com.

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Help me try to keep your case as simple as possible. Tell me the story and the way that I can understand it, and most importantly, don't try to obscure the weaknesses in your case. Bring them out and address them for me because I'm going to wind up finding them, and if I have to find them myself, I'm going to be very frustrated with you as a party. My goal as an arbitrator is to try to get it right and try to be objective and fair to both sides.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Philip Kessler has extensive experience as an arbitration advocate and has also been selected to serve as an arbitrator in complex commercial cases. Richard Green regularly sits on panels in New York as an arbitrator. In addition, Thomas Noonan has significant experience as an arbitration advocate.

Arbitrations increasingly share certain similarities with disputes in court. There are also notable differences between the two. While it was once true that time consuming, costly discovery was rare in arbitrations, discovery in more complex disputes is now common. In general, the rules of evidence that govern court proceedings continue to be relaxed in arbitration. The parties to an arbitration have the opportunity to select the arbitral forum and often to select the arbitrator or arbitrators who will preside over the arbitration (and are paid by the parties for doing so). Finally, the opportunity to appeal from a final arbitration decision is far more limited than in a court case. Thus, when our clients have the opportunity to accept or propose arbitration as the means by which a possible future contract dispute will be resolved, we counsel with them to ensure that they make the most prudent decision under the circumstances.

Mediation can serve as an effective means of resolving disputes without the need for a trial, and in some instances, without the need for extensive discovery . In complex cases, it is typically advantageous for a special mediator to be appointed who is accustomed to mediating such cases. Philip Kessler has been called upon by courts in various jurisdictions to serve as a special mediator. Both Phil and Tom Noonan have represented parties successfully in countless mediations. As with arbitrations, mediation may be conducted by one or three mediators who are either paid by the parties or the court system.

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