Alternative dispute resolution, usually referred to as ADR, refers to any method of resolving disputes without having a judge and/or jury decide the dispute. It includes mediation and arbitration. Four attorneys at the Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers firm have been certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission to be mediators in civil lawsuits: Rick Pinto, Paul Coates, Ken Kyre, and Deb Bowers. A mediator serves as a facilitator, focusing parties' discussions as to how they might settle their dispute. A mediator does not force the parties to settle, but he or she helps steer negotiations between the parties in an effort to compromise the claims so as to lead to a settlement of the lawsuit and hence avoid the uncertainty of a trial. Most civil lawsuits filed in North Carolina Superior Courts are required to have a mediated settlement conference. If a mediation is not successful, the mediator will report an “impasse” to the Court and the case will proceed to trial. A mediation is a confidential process, and except for several rare and rule-allowed situations, a mediator will not discuss what occurred at mediation with a judge or jury.
Parties to a lawsuit are allowed to select the mediator for their case, and so if you are in need of a mediator, you should consider utilizing the services of our certified mediators, because with their extensive experience as civil litigation attorneys, they bring with them as mediators the insight to help all sides of a dispute seek an acceptable compromise resolution.
Deb Bowers is an arbitrator, and she is listed on the American Arbitration Association (AAA) panel of arbitrators. The AAA provides dispute resolution case administration for business-to-business claims, and it offers AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and other specialized rules and supplements tailored for specific types of business disputes. It is a national organization that has administered arbitrations since 1926. See https://www.adr.org/Arbitration. As an AAA arbitrator, Deb is available for selection as an arbitrator by parties on matters submitted to and arbitrated through the AAA. She also can be selected as an arbitrator by the AAA itself. As noted on the AAA website, “AAA is a not for profit organization with offices throughout the U.S. and has a long history and experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution, providing services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court. . . . The AAA has long held its mediators and arbitrators to strict codes of ethics and model standards of conduct to ensure fairness and impartiality in conflict management.”