Mediation is a voluntary, informal and confidential process in which a neutral “mediator” assists the disputing parties in identifying and discussing issues of concern, exploring various solutions and developing a settlement that is mutually acceptable to them.
Arbitration offers the flexibility, confidentiality, informality, and cost effectiveness of mediation. Unlike a mediator, the arbitrator is a neutral who considers the legal arguments and evidence presented by the disputants and renders a decision. Once a decision has been rendered, that decision may become binding if both parties agree.
The Land Court may refer cases to REBA Dispute Resolution (REBA/DR) for a mandatory mediation screening. During this session, the screener will provide the parties and counsel with information about the REBA/DR program, an overview of the different types of services available, and the many benefits of DR in general. The screener will also discuss the process and details involved in scheduling a DR session, including which neutral to choose, and the timing and costs involved. The parties and counsel are welcome and encouraged to ask any questions they may have.
Confidential Case Evaluation permits a party and/or their lawyers to present a summary of their case for neutral review by an experienced lawyer or former judge. The evaluation includes an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of issues and a non-binding opinion of the likely outcome, if adjudicated. Settlement often occurs after case evaluation, with significant savings in legal costs to both parties.
Conciliation is a dispute resolution process whereby a “conciliator” meets with the disputing parties, both separately and together, in an attempt to resolve their differences. The conciliator does this by lowering tensions, improving communications, interpreting issues, encouraging parties to explore potential solutions and assisting parties in finding a mutually acceptable outcome.