The purpose of a Mediation is to assist parties in reaching a voluntary settlement of issues involved in a dispute with the help of a neutral, third party mediator. Solutions that the parties reach in mediation may be more expedient and creative than those arrived at through the traditional court process. Mediation allows those involved in the dispute to have more control over the resolution. Under the North Carolina Rules of Evidence, written and oral communications made during the course of a Mediation may be deemed by the court to be held confidential as settlement negotiations, or an offer to compromise a dispute, offering parties the opportunity to try to reach an agreement prior to litigating a matter in court.
Much like Mediation, an Arbitration is a means for parties to settle a dispute outside of a regular court proceeding, however, rather than the parties reaching an agreement between them, with the assistance of a neutral, third party mediator, to submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or by statutory provision. The dispute resolution is then determined by the impartial arbitrator after the parties have presented the facts to the Arbitrator(s) for consideration.
Attorney Heidi Stewart has been mediating and arbitrating a wide variety of cases for over 16 years. Please call to see if your dispute may be one that is appropriate for one of these processes.