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Ain & Stein, LLC
401 North Washington Street, Suite 500
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Telephone: 301-838-0199
Facsimile: 301-309-9436

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Mediation and Arbitration

Maryland & Washington D.C. Mediation & Arbitration Lawyers

Our experienced mediation and arbitration attorneys help in alternative dispute resolution for clients throughout Washington, D.C. and Maryland, including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Calvert County, Carroll County, Charles County, Frederick County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, St. Mary’s County.

Alternative Dispute Resolution can be an effective way to resolve disputes minimizing the time, costs and risk to the parties involved. Alternative Dispute Resolution takes many forms; the two primary ones are mediation and arbitration.

Arbitration

Arbitration involves a third party neutral who evaluates the claims, reviews the documentary evidence, listens to the testimony of the parties and witnesses, and arrives at a verdict, that is, an amount of money to be awarded in favor of one party and against another party or arrives at a verdict where the claimant receives no compensation. There may be other forms of relief which a third party neutral can fashion or order. There are limited appeal rights in arbitrated cases.

Mediation

Mediation involves a third party neutral who listens to the claims and presentations of each party, however, there is generally no trial or hearing on evidentiary issues. Mediation is entirely voluntary and either party can end the mediation at any time. Mediation can take many forms, the two major forms are facilitative mediation and directive mediation. Directive mediation is one in which the mediator listens to the parties claims and defenses and presents his opinions on the merits of the case and perhaps even offers his evaluation of the claims in order to encourage a settlement between the parties. Facilitative mediation involves a mediator who serves the role of a facilitator who attempts to get the parties to reach their own settlement agreement and to formulate their own remedies.

The facilitator/mediator attempts to get the parties to talk with each other (without counsel interference) and attempts to learn the parties’ goals in mediation and to understand the claims and defenses that have been made. The facilitator/mediator further looks for remedies that are non-monetary in order to allow the parties to move closer toward a settlement position.

In many instances non-monetary remedies can go a long way toward making both sides to a conflict reach an agreement to their respective benefit. Non-monetary remedies are particularly useful in domestic or family law situations, business situations, business transactions and other kinds of civil disputes. In personal injury cases non-monetary relief is usually less desirable as monetary compensation is the major remedy. Even in those situations, monetary compensation can be achieved through mechanisms of structured settlements, annuities, and provisions for medical care.

Choosing a Mediator or Arbitrator

When choosing an arbitrator or mediator it is important to select one who is experienced with the legal system, understands the valuation of claims, is articulate, empathetic and listens carefully to both sides. Unlike arbitration where the arbitrator listens to the testimony and evidence presented, including any opinions offered by experts, in order to arrive at a verdict, a mediator, through probing questions, learns what goals and remedies the parties seek. In directive mediation the mediator offers various opinions based upon his experience and knowledge of the results of similar cases and the range of verdicts and the likelihood of success for each party. In facilitative mediation the mediator attempts to get the parties to fashion their own relief. It is important and essential that the mediator be a person who can maintain the confidence of the parties and who can move the discussion forward by focusing the parties’ attention and efforts to fashion a resolution to the case.

Caucusing

During the mediation process the mediator works with the parties in joint sessions and may meet with the individual parties in separate sessions known as caucusing. During caucuses, that is separate sessions, each party the mediator obtains additional information that the parties may not wish to share with their adversary. Any information obtained during these caucuses is kept confidential by the mediator unless the party from whom the information was obtained gives permission to the mediator to disclose such information to the opposing party.

Attributes of a Mediator

A good mediator:

  • maintains his neutrality throughout the proceeding;
  • inspires the confidence of the parties that they can succeed in resolving the conflict;
  • inspires the confidence of the parties with his/her impartiality, knowledge and trustworthiness;
  • is sensitive to the parties’ needs;
  • is articulate, persuasive and a person who can be forceful when appropriate in a judicious manner;
  • is able to understand and analyze the key issues in the case and the motivation of the parties; and
  • is someone who can gather information from both parties and use the parties’ responses to construct meaningful suggestions to advance the discussions.

Family Law Disputes

Among the most difficult cases to mediate are family law disputes. Many of the parties are anxious, stressed, angry, hostile and the cases present complex issues of property division, property evaluation, alimony, parental access and grandparent access child access of parents and grandparents, child support, joint custody, etc. A mediator can calm the situation, focus on issues and goals and help the parties move forward in a way least destructive for themselves and their children. The process often improves communication between the parties.

Why Choose Ain & Stein as your Mediator or Arbitrator?

Michael Ain and Gary Stein have been involved in mediation and arbitration for more than 25 years. Both attorneys have received formal training either through the District of Columbia local and federal courts and/or Maryland courts. Michael Ain has received additional formal intensive training through the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers. This organization sponsors the Mediation Workshop which involves two intensive forty (40) hour mediation training programs covering personal injury cases, civil and commercial disputes and family law disputes. Gary Stein and Michael Ain have served as arbitrators and mediators and have also represented numerous clients in the arbitration and mediation process in many areas of law including family law, commercial cases, medical mal-practice cases, personal injury cases, contract and fraud cases and other areas of the law.

Contact Information

Ain & Stein, LLC
401 North Washington Street, Suite 500
Rockville, Maryland 20850

  • Telephone: 301-838-0199
  • Facsimile: 301-309-9436

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