Phoenix Mediation Attorneys
Conflict is inevitable in any human interaction, but it can be incredibly distressing and detrimental when it happens at work. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) offers a private, confidential, and time-efficient method for resolving workplace conflicts. At Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC, our Phoenix mediation lawyers represent employers and employees as advisors and litigators. Phoenix ADR lawyer Burr Shields has over 35 years of experience mediating, arbitrating, and litigating employment law disputes. Burr’s peers consider him one of the top attorneys for his results for both employers and employees in employment cases. Even opponents respect Burr’s skill and finesse as a mediator. If you are in need of a mediator or arbitrator, Burr’s track record speaks for itself. Contact us today to see if Burr is available to serve as your mediator or arbitrator.
What Is ADR?
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to techniques for settling legal disagreements that do not involve the traditional court system. ADR helps parties resolve conflicts before initiating formal administrative procedures and litigation (which can be costly and time-consuming). When it comes to settling workplace disagreements, ADR is a reliable resource for employers and employees. ADR can solve conflicts between employees, an employee and management, or an employer and a union.
ADR refers to a variety of approaches aimed at a mutually agreeable solution. The parties can develop and apply any combination of ADR that best serves their interests. Some examples of ADR methods include:
- Early neutral evaluation or minitrials,
- Cooperative problem-solving,
- Negotiated rulemaking,
- Neutral fact-finding,
- Peer review or dispute panels,
- Settlement conferences,
- Ombudsman advocacy, and
- Alternative discipline.
Traditional conflict resolution involves a third party (like a judge) imposing a “solution” that neither side agrees with. Thus, the conflict persists or worsens. Except for binding arbitration, ADR gives the parties a venue to work toward a voluntary, consensual agreement. In some cases, going to court may be the only option. However, in many cases, ADR can be an effective alternative to the traditional court system.
What is Arbitration and Mediation?
Arbitration and mediation are two forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can be used to resolve disputes outside of the traditional court system. Both arbitration and mediation are designed to be quicker and less costly than going to court, and they can be used to resolve a wide range of disputes, including employment, commercial, and personal disputes.
Arbitration is a formal process in which a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, hears evidence and arguments from both sides of a dispute and makes a decision on the merits of the case. The arbitration process is similar to a trial, but it is usually less formal and can be quicker and less costly than going to court. The arbitrator’s decision is typically final and binding, meaning that the parties are required to follow the decision.
Mediation is a less formal process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps the parties to a dispute come to a mutually agreed-upon resolution. The mediator does not make a decision on the merits of the case, but rather helps the parties to communicate and negotiate in an effort to reach a resolution. Mediation can be a quicker and less costly option than arbitration or going to court, and it allows the parties to have more control over the outcome of the dispute.
Both arbitration and mediation can be effective ways to resolve disputes, but they may not be suitable for all types of cases. It is important for the parties to carefully consider the pros and cons of ADR before proceeding, and to seek legal guidance if necessary.
Overall, arbitration and mediation are valuable tools for resolving disputes in a quicker and less costly manner than going to court. By using ADR, parties can often reach a mutually agreed-upon resolution and avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial.
ADR Benefits: Why Use ADR?
Using ADR to resolve your employment dispute can save you time and money by resolving the conflict quickly and informally. ADR lets you work together to find a solution that works for you and the employee or employer. A mutual agreement is usually better than leaving the decision to a third party, like an administrative judge.
ADR has many advantages, including:
- ADR can be faster and less expensive than going to court. ADR usually takes one or two sessions, while court cases might take months or years.
- ADR can be less formal and more flexible than the court process. The parties have an active role in the outcome and can create a solution that fits their needs and interests.
- ADR is confidential. The results are kept confidential, which can preserve relationships and safeguard parties’ privacy.
- ADR can be less stressful than going to court. The court process can be intimidating and adversarial, whereas ADR is typically more collaborative and respectful.
- ADR can help preserve relationships. In some cases, the parties will need to continue working or interacting with each other after the dispute is resolved. ADR can help the parties find a solution that lets them move forward and maintain a positive relationship.
Fairness is the most important requirement for an ADR. Generally, an ADR is fair if it is voluntary, confidential, enforceable by the parties (if they reach an agreement), and led by a neutral person, like a mediator, who has no personal stake in the dispute. ADR helps parties communicate and avoid traditional litigation costs, delays, and unknowns. ADR allows people to develop creative solutions to disagreements that meet everyone’s needs.
What Types of Employment Issues Can Benefit from ADR?
ADR is an effective method for addressing a wide range of employment concerns. Some examples of workplace issues that might be suitable for ADR include:
- Disputes between employees, such as conflicts over work tasks or responsibilities or personal differences.
- Disputes between an employee and management, such as disagreements over pay or working conditions.
- Disputes between the employer and a union, such as collective bargaining disputes.
- Discrimination or harassment claims.
- Disagreements over workplace policies or procedures.
- Disciplinary actions or performance issues.
- Termination or severance disputes.
Our attorneys have decades of expertise in aiding employers and employees with employment issues. We have represented employers and employees in litigation, arbitration, and mediation. We have counseled employers, especially in the healthcare sector, on labor and employment concerns. Whatever your dispute, we can help.
Why Do I Need a Phoenix ADR Attorney?
When you contact our Phoenix mediation attorneys, we will review your case and advise you on the appropriateness of ADR. We will explain the different ADR options and help you choose the most appropriate one. We can provide legal counsel and guidance throughout the ADR process, including representing you in mediation or arbitration proceedings. If we attend ADR as your attorney, we will prepare and present your case, negotiate with the other party, and advocate for your position. We have represented employers in matters pending before the EEOC, the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office, the National Labor Relations Board, and the United States Department of Labor. You can rely on us to help you understand the law and comply with the legal requirements and deadlines.
As mediators, we are a neutral, respected third party with the experience to comprehend both sides of a workplace conflict. Overall, an ADR attorney can be valuable in resolving disputes through ADR methods. With our experience, reputation, and drive, we can help you secure a favorable outcome for your workplace issues. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Phoenix Mediation Lawyers.
Our employment lawyers are also able to assist you with the following cases:
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Business Contract
- Business Litigation
- Constructive Discharge
- Employee Advocacy
- Employer Counseling
- Employment Litigation
- Hostile Work Environment
- Medical & Disability Leave
- Sexual Harassment
- Small Business Consulting
- Wage and Hour Violation
- Workplace Discrimination
- Workplace Retaliation
- Wrongful Termination