Mediation and Arbitration
In mediation, individuals involved in a dispute meet to discuss their issues and potentially resolve the matter. Mediation may be ordered by the court, or it may be a voluntary effort to resolve a dispute before filing a lawsuit. A mediator is a neutral third-party who does not decide who is right or wrong or issue an order resolving the dispute. Instead, the mediator attempts to focus the parties and narrow the issues.
In some cases, a judge will order the parties in a lawsuit to participate in non-binding arbitration. Non-binding arbitration is a legal proceeding that is less formal than a trial. A neutral third person or panel, called an arbitrator or arbitration panel, hears facts and arguments presented by the parties in a dispute. The arbitrator or panel then renders an award, but the award is not binding on the parties. Litigants and their attorneys should discuss the potential ramifications of proceeding to trial following an award in non-binding arbitration.
Mr. Draper is a Certified Circuit Civil Mediator and a Certified Florida Court Arbitrator. Mr. Draper conducts mediations and non-binding arbitrations in person at his mediation center in Punta Gorda, at other law firms or conference centers, and virtually by Zoom. The mediation center has three conference rooms, which are separated by a central rest and refreshment area providing a comfortable distance between the parties.