Houston Arbitration & Mediation Attorneys
Resolve Disputes Through Arbitration or Mediation with Experienced Counsel
Business owners, executives, and other individuals often sign contracts with binding arbitration agreements, which means they must resolve disputes through private arbitration instead of litigation in civil courts. The business law attorneys at Hendershot Cowart P.C. are experienced with all forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Texas, including arbitration and mediation.
If you are facing an arbitration or mediation, our team can explain the process and represent your interests. We understand the stakes, and we are dedicated to your success, every step of the way.
Call us at (713) 909-7323 to get started today.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution that takes place outside of the courtroom. Instead of a judge, both parties present their case to a neutral third party called the arbitrator. The process can be faster, more private, and less expensive than traditional litigation.
Additionally, the arbitrator’s decision is final and legally binding, so arbitration does not usually have an appeals process except in limited circumstances.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Arbitration?
Even though you will not be in a courtroom, you still must present evidence and make arguments to support your case before the arbitrator. You will not have to adhere to formal Rules of Procedure and Rules of Evidence as you would in court; arbitration does, however, have its own set of rules and procedures, often established in the arbitration agreement or between the parties and arbitrator once the dispute arises.
Here are a few reasons you may want to have an attorney by your side during arbitration:
- Arbitration is an adversarial procedure (you vs. them)
- The arbitration decision is final and binding (except in limited circumstances); you won’t get a second chance to make your case through an appeals process
- Arbitration clauses are favored by large companies and employers. These large entities tend to have extensive experience with arbitration. Engaging your own attorney will help put the same level of experience on your side.
- A lawyer can help you organize and present your case, and devise a strategy based on the laws or statutes that apply to your case
- An attorney can help you find an arbitrator with expertise in your industry or case matter, and one with reasonable fees (both the arbitration association and arbitrator charge discretionary fees which are borne by both parties in the dispute)
Our Houston arbitration lawyers can help you protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome to your dispute.
Steps of the Arbitration Process
The first step of arbitration is sending or receiving a written Demand for Arbitration. This demand is the first opportunity to present the relevant facts of your case, along with requested remedies or your defenses to the claim. We recommend that you have an attorney help you craft the demand or prepare your response.
Other ways an attorney can help you through arbitration:
- Representing your rights and interests at the preliminary hearing – this is when the issues in the case and procedural matters are established
- Exchanging information with the other party and preparing your arguments
- Making the opening statement and presenting testimony and evidence at the hearing
- Submitting additional documents and evidence post-hearing, as allowed by the arbitrator
- Enforcing any awards at the conclusion of the arbitration
Although arbitration is usually less expensive than lawsuits and courtroom proceedings, you still need to invest in your case. Hiring an attorney to help you prepare, present, and close your case may help you obtain a higher award or avoid adverse consequences.
What Is Mediation?
Like arbitration, mediation is an alternative to litigation. However, mediation is merely a negotiation, and there is no guarantee that the parties will come to a resolution. The mediation process is facilitated by a mediator trained in dispute resolution and often takes place while parties await a court date (or arbitration conference) with the goal of reaching a “win-win” solution to the dispute.
If a settlement is reached, it is then recorded in a written agreement that is legally binding. If the parties fail to come to a resolution, then litigation or arbitration is often the next step.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Mediation?
Most mediations do not require an attorney, but an attorney’s counsel can be invaluable. An attorney with mediation experience can help ensure that your rights are protected during the mediation, help you understand the full consequences of any decisions, and review any written agreements created as a result of the mediation.
There Are No Second Chances in Arbitration – Trust the Experienced Counsel at Hendershot Cowart P.C.
Every stage of arbitration matters – from preparation to presentation to awards. At Hendershot Cowart P.C., the same skills that make us invaluable litigators also make us skilled counsel in arbitration proceedings.
Not only can we help you gather and present evidence that favors your case, but we can also anticipate the other side’s arguments and help ensure the arbitration process is fair for everyone. We have more than 100 years of collective experience and are driven to exceed your expectations.
Let us get to know you and what matters most – call us at (713) 909-7323 today or request a consultation online.
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