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Alternative Dispute Resolution | Mediation | Arbitration

When confronted with a legal matter, people often turn to the courts to help settle their disputes. Litigation, however, may not always be your best option, as it can be a drawn-out and costly process. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may suggest alternative means for resolving your legal issues. Following is an explanation of these alternate options.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures provide opportunities for individuals to attempt to resolve their legal disputes without the need of proceeding with traditional litigation. ADR practices are becoming a more widely-accepted - and sometimes even encouraged - means of settling an array of legal issues ranging from family law matters to personal injury claims to contract disputes. These procedures, when applicable, offer a number of advantages. ADRs:

  • allow you to avoid delays caused by crowded court calendars;
  • save you time which, in turn, cuts down on expense and stress often associated with courtroom trials;
  • provide confidentiality since agreements reached through ADR proceedings are not public record.

Alternative Dispute Resolution employs various methods for resolving legal issues. Two of the most common are Arbitration and Mediation.


Arbitration is an informal hearing in which a panel consisting of one or three arbitrators hears statements from both sides of the dispute, after which the panel determines the terms and conditions of a resolution. With a one-member arbitration panel, all parties to the dispute must agree on the arbitrator; with a three-member panel, each side chooses an arbitrator. The two arbitrators together then select a third arbitrator to complete the panel.

Arbitration hearings generally last between a few days and a week, at the end of which time an agreement is reached. These agreements can be binding or non-binding. In a binding arbitration, the decision is final and cannot be reviewed or overturned by a court, with a few exceptions. In a non-binding arbitration, on the other hand, either side has the right to reject the arbitrator’s decision and proceed through the courts.


In this process, a mediator serves as a neutral party to help facilitate discussion and resolution of legal disputes. Mediators are trained negotiators and while most are also attorneys, they do not provide legal advice to either party involved in the mediation. If you choose to have legal representation present at your mediation, although it is not required, you must retain separate counsel.

Similar to arbitrations, mediations are informal procedures generally conducted in a relaxed setting. The parties involved in the mediation set the duration of the proceedings, generally one half-day or full-day session. The negotiations are confidential and non-binding; once a resolution is reached, however, parties on both sides of the issue sign an agreement making it a binding contract. Sometimes mediation can end in an impasse rather than a resolution to the dispute. In that case, the parties involved can pursue other methods of resolving their issue.

Kearns Rotolo Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution

If your attorney advises you to proceed with an Alternative Dispute Resolution, Kearns Rotolo Law can be of assistance. The attorneys of Kearns Rotolo Law are experienced in the areas of mediation and arbitration and are prepared to assist in the process recommended by your attorney. 

What Our Clients are Saying

The absolute BEST!!! I have a family of attorneys but needed someone local. Victor was recommended to me and words cannot describe how pleased I was with his firm. The outstanding service and attention each member of his staff gave to me surpassed any and all expectations. Victor surrounds himself with a hardworking team that he leads. I felt it was money spent wisely. I will continue to recommend Victor and his associates.

- Stephanie

Mr. Rotolo has helped me numerous times in legal matters and has continued to support and help me through countless hardships. He is dedicated to providing the best service and is a true professional. I will continue to consult with him regarding any legal issues in the future. He is a respectable, hardworking, kind hearted man and I would recommend his legal services to anyone.

- Matthew

I am an attorney and have practiced law for 26 years. I hired Vic to handle a very difficult family matter because I do not handle family law. Vic was extremely competent and obtained a result far beyond my expectations. Without his counsel my son's and family's life would have been changed forever. Thank you Vic for your good lawyering. I very much appreciate the personal attention and time dedicated to this matter. I highly recommend Vic.

- Anthony

We recently had a situation where we needed to hire an attorney. We selected Kearns Rotolo Law and I can honestly say that we were above and beyond satisfied with Vic and his team. We would absolutely recommend this firm to anyone should the need arise. We blindly picked the firm out of the phone book because I liked his ad. Now I believe that God was pointing us in the right direction. Thank you Vic and Kearns Rotolo Law for being there for us in our time of need.

- Kim

Victor's expertise, due diligence, and empathy for his client made my first experience with the law (and last) a non-stressful one. Before the case, I did my research and looked over about 20 lawyers before choosing Victor. All my sources pointed to him as the best and they weren't off even a bit. Victor treated my case like it was his own and kept me up to date with all my appointments, breakthroughs in the case, and guided me step through step in a process that I never thought that I had to come to endure. If Victor's not available Susy will go out of her way to take care you. The productivity and efficiency in that office is second to none. Thank you Victor!

- Michael