Business & Commercial Litigation
Alternative Dispute Resolution in Texas
Experienced Dallas Business & Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Godwin Bowman PC routines utilizes alternative dispute resolution as another solution to complex litigation. Alternative dispute resolution is often used in high-profile disputes, divorce actions, and personal injury claims. Our law firm also provides ADR services in other types of disputes, including labor and employment, government contracts, intellectual property, tax, securities, product liability, business fraud, medical malpractice, antitrust, and bad faith insurance law.
Options to Avoid Litigation
At Godwin Bowman PC, our experienced lawyers can provide alternatives to those who wish to avoid litigation. These alternatives may include mediation, mini-trials, moderated settlement conferences, summary jury trial, and arbitration. With the exception of mediation, these options can result in useful, but non-binding advisory opinions.
In mediation, a neutral third party impartially facilitates communication between the opposing parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding. Mediation is less like a typical trial than is arbitration. Instead of a presentation of evidence by both sides, the mediator, or a panel of mediators, work through a solution with both sides of the dispute and facilitate a settlement. The parties can agree to be bound by these opinions.
Unlike mediation, arbitration is an alternative to litigation in which an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators listen to the positions of the disputing parties in a relatively informal proceeding and then issue an award. Many contracts require the parties to submit their dispute to binding arbitration. Alternatively, parties to a dispute can agree to use arbitration merely as a settlement tool.
A mini-trial is a form of alternative dispute resolution that provides the upper management of each party an opportunity to resolve the dispute while protecting future business or relationship interests. In a mini-trial, counsel present their case to a third-party neutral and the top decision-makers of each party. The decision-makers then meet, either with or without the third-party neutral advisor, and try to negotiate a settlement. The third-party neutral may render an opinion that is nonbinding, unless the parties agree in advance to be bound.
In a moderated settlement conference, both parties and counsel present their positions to a panel of impartial third parties who then render an advisory opinion. The appointed panel receives brief presentations by the parties in order to facilitate settlement negotiations and then issues a non-binding decision on liability and/or damages. The idea is that the decision, while not binding on the parties, will help them negotiate more constructively.
Summary Jury Trials
Summary jury trials are typically managed by the trial judge, who may assign a magistrate to oversee a shortened version of the full trial. In summary jury trials, a jury of six people hears a shortened version of the evidence that will be presented at the full trial. In most cases, testimony from witnesses is not taken. The jury then renders a nonbinding decision, and the parties use that decision to further settlement negotiations.
For Alternative Dispute Resolution, Call Godwin Bowman PC
Godwin Bowman PC has significant experience in all areas of alternative dispute resolution. Our Dallas-based law firm can help clients avoid or end the expense, time and risk of litigation and appeals. We successfully advocate for our clients in many alternate dispute resolution proceedings, and have helped them prepare for, and achieve, favorable outcomes in such proceedings.