At BFC, we know that resolving disputes is a thorny business, especially when it seems like the only option is to file a lawsuit.  Our litigation attorneys are well-versed in not only understanding the court system, but in helping our clients avoid having to use it if possible.  Litigation is generally a last resort, because it can be expensive, time-consuming, emotionally draining, and unpredictable.  Increasingly, it makes sense to try to resolve such disputes using alternate dispute resolution, or ADR, rather than litigation.  The two most popular forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration, both of which involve using a neutral third party to help sort through the issues. 

Mediation involves the use of a mediator, a neutral third party trained to assist the opposing sides to find common ground and a negotiated settlement of their differences.  It is most often employed as a non-binding first step in the dispute resolution process and is often ordered by the court after litigation has been commenced.   Arbitration, on the other hand, is more like a court hearing, where a neutral third party judges the case and issues a decision on the underlying dispute.  Arbitration, like mediation, can be a more cost-effective and more private method of resolving a dispute.  An arbitrator can be chosen that has knowledge of the industry or issues, and the process does not have to be as adversarial or as drawn out as court proceedings.  Many contracts require disputes between the parties to a contract to be settled via arbitration.   Our firm will help you to determine whether mediation or arbitration is the best approach to resolve your conflict and we will work with you throughout either process to understand your rights, to ensure the ultimate resolution is a fair one, and to present your case in a manner that best advances your interests.

Our experienced attorneys are adept at representing our clients in mediation and arbitration, with the firm knowledge of the options that are available if ADR fails to result in a satisfactory conclusion.  We are also skilled mediators, often serving in that capacity to facilitate the resolution of issues between parties that are not our clients.

If you are facing a dispute and want to explore ADR as a means of resolving it, or if you have a dispute that is subject to mediation or arbitration, contact  Donna Shahrabani (,  David Frizzell (, Cheryl Siegel (, John Middleton (, by email or phone us at 201-612-5200 to learn about how we can help you make the most of your hearing.