What You Need to Know About the American Arbitration Association (AAA)
The American Arbitration Association is a not-for-profit organization that handles alternative dispute resolution. This includes both arbitration and mediation. Both forms of dispute resolution can be useful tools for Florida businesses that are facing a potential legal dispute. If you have any questions or concerns about about the AAA, or alternative dispute resolution in general, please contact an experienced West Palm Beach arbitration attorney for immediate legal assistance.
The Role of the American Arbitration Association
Primarily, the AAA is responsible for facilitating the alternative dispute resolution process. This starts by helping parties select the appropriate arbitrator or mediator for their dispute. Selection occurs at the filing stage of the process, and it is critically important. Florida businesses involved in alternative dispute resolution need a neutral party who will be fair and who has the experience necessary to handle their specific type of dispute. Beyond the selection of the arbitrator or mediator, the AAA will also be responsible for administering the entirety of the process. Specifically, this will include:
- Assisting with all scheduling issues;
- Ensuring that proper procedures are always followed;
- Helping parties by providing any additional support if it is needed; and
- Handling any other logistical issues that might arise.
What is the Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation?
Mediation is generally a collaborative process. During a mediation, the neutral third party (mediator) will attempt to help both parties find a mutually agreeable solution for their dispute. This is done by helping both sides clarify their concerns and the ultimate goals. The mediator will usually encourage compromise throughout the process. Mediation can be a very valuable tool for Florida businesses who are involved in a dispute but who also wish to maintain a productive relationship with the other party. It is important to note that mediation is completely voluntary. A mediator can never impose a decision or a judgment on the parties. While finding a mutually beneficial solution is ideal, parties to a mediation are always free to walk away from the process without a final resolution.
Arbitration is typically more formal than mediation. While it is also a private process that takes places outside of the courtroom, arbitration proceeds more like a mini, high speed, trial. In an arbitration proceeding, both sides will be allowed to make their case and present evidence. The neutral third party (arbitrator) will then review the claims of each side and come to a ruling. Arbitration can be both binding, which means that ruling would constitute a valid final judgment (an award), or voluntary. If your business is considering arbitration, you need an experienced attorney by your side throughout the process.
Contact Our Office Today
For many businesses involved in a dispute, alternative dispute resolution is the best way to reach a favorable and efficient outcome. At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our attorneys are committed to helping your Florida business find cost effective legal solutions. If you are considering arbitration or mediation for your case, please contact our office today to schedule a free initial legal consultation. Our team serves businesses throughout South Florida, including in Palm Beach County and Dade County.