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7 Legal Steps for Dispute Resolution in Arizona

Alternate Dispute Resolution

People facing disputes in Arizona can choose Alternate Dispute Resolution or ADR instead of a traditional trial. These options are often chosen because they can sometimes result in settlements that are faster or less expensive. Also, they are often desired because the proceedings are private. When preparing for the process, both sides can improve their chances for success by completing several preparation steps.

Although ADR can be ordered by the Court, arbitration cannot unless the amount in controversy is below the threshold set by each county. Private arbitration, if not called for in a contract or required by your county’s local rules can only be by agreement.

Whether you choose mediation or arbitration, each has specific benefits and liabilities. This article will address Private Mediation (ADR) as a tool to resolve disputes.

7 Steps for a successful Dispute Resolution

Step #1

Mediation is private and voluntary in which both parties reach agreement with the help of a facilitator.
Your first step is choosing the best mediator for the type of case.

Step #2

Familiarize yourself with Arizona’s guidelines of the mediation process. Both sides must agree:

  • To maintain confidentiality, to choose the selected mediator, and determine the payment of the various costs such as a mediator’s fees.
  • To learn and accept the mediator’s specific process and approach.

Step #3

Outline your strategy. To be sure you prepare for your Mediation correctly, you will need to map out your plan. This is like a blueprint of your case from beginning to end.

  • Figure out the key issues and make a list detailing information you already have and what you need to find out.
  • Analyze how you will argue your case by weighing your case’s strengths and weaknesses objectively.
  • Choreograph the way you will present your information and what information you will disclose to the other side.
  • Draft an overview of your case outlining all the important factors.
  • Determine the cost of going to trial such as cost of experts, depositions and other trial related costs.

Step #4

Identify your plan for negotiation. Imagine the way you want the negotiation to go if you could have it your way. If you have the desired result in mind, it is easier to articulate it.

  • Determine your negotiables and non-negotiables as well as your wants and needs.
  • Research similar cases to learn how verdicts typically look.
  • Find a way to “see” your side through your opponent’s eyes.

Step #5

Prepare yourself for a settlement. Understand what the potential results can be and be ready to be able to negotiate to settle. A mutually agreed upon result is more likely when you both enter the process with a settlement in mind.

Step #6
Get organized for your mediation meeting. Prevailing over your opponent will largely hinge on how ready you are to articulate your case and present your evidence

  • Know what you will and will not disclose before and during.
  • Discuss your plans with the mediator. Share information and get his or her insight.
  • Prepare your story and practice delivering it.
  • Assemble your documents and have copies for everyone of everything you are presenting.
  • Preparing a detailed mediation statement will organize your presentation and help the mediator in advance of the meeting.

Step #7

  1. Your opening statement is your first and most compelling tactic toward winning a settlement.
    Present your best opening statement in your Mediation Statement so the mediator can know your case from your client’s eyes.
  2. Acknowledge the strength and weakness of both sides so the mediator knows you are familiar with both the facts and the case law.
  3. End on a strong note about your case.

If you believe compromise is a strong possibility for your dispute, good solution for you Mediation may be an appropriate ADR. Our firm has years of combined experience helping our clients navigate these processes. We can help you decide if these are good options for your case and be your advocate in any mediation process.
This may seem like a long, complex and tedious process which is where an experienced dispute resolution attorney can help. At West, Longenbaugh and Zickerman, our Tucson dispute resolution attorneys can assist you in meetings and facilitations that will result in a successful legal agreement between the parties. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can learn more about your case and advise you on your choice.

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