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Harrisburg Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Blog

Medical malpractice mediation: plaintiff benefits over litigation

If you or a loved one suffered injury—or even death—due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may want to take legal action to get compensation. However, taking the doctor or hospital to court may not be the best way to achieve the outcome you’re after.

In this post, we discuss why medical malpractice lawsuits are especially difficult for plaintiffs to win—and why mediation is a better option.

How mediation can empower a couple making a prenuptial agreement

You’ve met the love of your life and have decided to tie the knot. You’re deliriously happy. Everything in your life seems right on track. But then your fiancé hits you with an upsetting surprise: they want you to sign a prenup.

A prenuptial agreement is a touchy subject for many engaged couples, often because the request for such an agreement only comes from one party—the wealthier one. In many cases, a fiancé stemming from a wealthy family may receive parental pressure for such a contract to ensure their assets remain within the family.

When is mediation appropriate in business?

In a business setting, conflict regularly arises. Some disputes may not warrant full-on litigation—and others may not be worth the time and money of going to court. However, just because a conflict may be less severe doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Mediation offers a means to resolve disputes in a way that is cheaper, simpler and more amicable all around.

Mediation can be applied to a wide variety of business scenarios. In this post, we examine, the types of business situations where mediation can be especially effective, as well as some situations in which mediation may not be the best choice.

Prior to ADR: know your BATNA/WATNA.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be used for all sorts of different scenarios. Whether you’re butting heads with your former spouse over child custody issues or clashing with your business partner over an element of a contract, it’s a good idea to dedicate some time to prepare ahead of time. The pay off can be well worth the effort.

Regardless of whether you’re getting ready for arbitration or mediation, you want to approach the process smartly. Prepare for it as you would for any negotiation: by thinking through all potential outcomes and which outcomes would be acceptable to you. In ADR terms, this is what we refer to as your BATNA/WATNA.

How to prepare for your divorce mediation

You and your ex have decided to resolve your divorce through mediation. Perhaps you’re feeling a sense of relief that you can avoid a turbulent, drawn-out litigation process. But what do you need to do to get ready for mediation? Will you just show up and hope for the best?

With so much on the line, you don’t want to leave things to chance. It’s important to do your homework and organize your issues. In this post, we walk you through how to do that:

Arbitration finding a place in the commercial finance sector

In commercial finance disputes, there has been a long-standing tendency to turn to litigation for resolution. This process can be time consuming, costly and—depending on the outcome—publicly damaging to company or individual reputations.

For decades, arbitration has been a tried and true practice for dispute resolution in many industries across the country. However, to date, its use has not really gained momentum in the commercial finance industry.

Do your homework: 4 things to find out when choosing a mediator

You’ve decided to use mediation to settle your dispute. If you’ve never used a mediator before, you want to make sure you find someone who’s a good fit for you and your case. Here are four things you’ll want to research ahead of time:

Is the mediator a subject matter expert? Expertise in a particular area isn’t required for all mediation cases. However, in some cases, finding a mediator with a certain background can be a necessity. For instance, if you’re involved in a real estate dispute requiring extensive knowledge in title insurance and land use law, you want to find a mediator who understands those concepts inside and out.

The chemistry of trust: can oxytocin enable successful mediation?

In his groundbreaking TED Talk that went viral, Dr. Paul Zak explored the ways in which the hormone oxytocin supports human interconnectedness. His findings have important implications on the field of mediation.

Oxytocin is a chemical produced in mammals, which is released under certain types of stimulus. When released, it increases happiness. It enables us to feel what other people feel. Oxytocin has been shown to increase trust and generosity in people without altering their cognition. It also creates a greater sense of empathy and an enhanced ability to connect with others.

Three key focus strategies to resolving a workplace conflict

A workplace is like a delicately balanced ecosystem. Most of the time, all individuals work in harmony with each other. However, when you throw a group of people with differing personalities, unique ideas and separate expectations into an office together, conflict is bound to arise eventually. In the face of such a clash, it’s important to refrain from doing anything that exacerbates the problem—which could ultimately result in mediation or even litigation.

Today we present three essential ways to focus your attention in order to effectively smooth over conflict in the workplace:

Protect yourself when signing an employment arbitration agreement

You aced your final interview, and your future employer has just offered you your dream job. Exciting news! You’re asked to come into the office to sign some pre-employment paperwork. But embedded in the stack is a document that gives you pause: an employment arbitration agreement.

When you sign an arbitration agreement for your job, you agree not to sue your employer for problems you experience in connection with your work. Instead, any issue must be handled through arbitration.

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