Arbitration and Mediation Center (AMC)

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Arbitration and Mediation Center (AMC)
  • Country: USA
  • City: Santa Rosa
  • Type of organization: Non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 1993
  • Interests: Mediation - Arbitration
  • Fields of expertise: All types of Disputes

[edit] Overview

The Arbitration and Mediation Center (AMC) was specifically formed to meet the Alternative Dispute Resolution needs of individuals, businesses, attorneys, governmental entities and the Courts of Sonoma County and the North Bay.

AMC offers experts with practical experience and knowledge covering a broad area of the law. AMC also provides complete hearing administration and the convenience of local offices in Santa Rosa and San Rafael with comfortable conferencing facilities. A single phone call is all it takes to begin the process toward resolving a civil dispute in a cost effective manner.

AMC provides a panel of 12 highly qualified and respected legal professionals. These individuals are experts in their field of law and recognized for their skill and experience as neutrals.

[edit] Origin

The Arbitration and Mediation Center has been in operation since 1993. Co-founded by the present Director, Robert A. Murray, AMC was one of the first providers of alternative dispute resolution services in Sonoma County serving the North Bay Area.

AMC was specifically formed to meet the alternative dispute resolution needs of individuals, businesses and governmental agencies of Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake, Mendicino, Solano and Humboldt Counties.

[edit] Purpose

Individuals and businesses frustrated over the high cost and time consuming nature of traditional litigation are increasingly turning to arbitration and mediation to resolve civil disputes. The Courts recognize that arbitration and mediation are often more appropriate forums for dispute resolution that the courtroom.

AMC provides a single, comprehensive source for arbitration, mediation and other conflict resolution services. AMC also recognizes the need for flexibility and minimizing the cost of mediations and arbitrations.

[edit] Services

[edit] Mediation

Mediation is a process in which two or more people involved in a dispute come together to try to work out a solution to their problem with the help of a neutral third person. Parties and their lawyers (or parties alone if they are not represented) meet with an impartial, neutral third person, known as the "mediator", who can serve as an objective facilitator and assist the parties to discuss their dispute and explore options. Mediation sessions are confidential and private.

[edit] Arbitration

Arbitration is a process in which a neutral, third person is selected by the parties or with the assistance of the court or possibly under the terms of an applicable contract. The dispute is presented to and decided by an arbitrator whose decision may be binding or non-binding depending on the circumstances, agreement of the parties or contractual provisions.

[edit] Non-Binding Arbitration

A non-binding arbitration results in an advisory opinion that the parties are free to disregard. A binding arbitration leads to a decision that cannot be overturned except in extreme circumstances, such as fraud, misconduct of the arbitrator, or refusal to hear material evidence.

[edit] Binding Arbitration

A binding arbitration may be structured in various ways and the decision of the arbitrator limited accordingly.

  • "High-Low" The parties may wish to agree on "high-low" parameters to define the extent of the arbitrator's decision. The parties know going into the arbitration the best and worst case scenarios, depending on their respective position. If the arbitrator's decision exceeds the "high" set by the parties, then that "high" is the result and conversely, if the decision is below the "low", then the "low" resolves the case. The arbitrator is typically not advised of the parameters.
  • "Baseball" In this format, the evidence is presented to the arbitrator after which each side informs the arbitrator what it thinks the result should be and the arbitrator must chose one of those proposed results. The arbitrator cannot select another result or figure.
  • "Night baseball" This follows the same procedure as regular "baseball" although the parties submit their respective proposals in confidence to the arbitrator, in a sealed envelope or otherwise, after evidence is presented.

[edit] Early Neutral Evaluation

The attorneys, sometimes along with their clients, meet with a qualified neutral at an early stage in the litigation. The neutral provides assistance in identifying important issues in the controversy and forming a discovery plan, including specific vehicles and time frames for completion, that is focused, hopefully comprehensive and efficient. The neutral may also be asked by the parties and counsel to act as a discovery referee or special master and possibly to also serve as a mediator in subsequent settlement discussions.

[edit] Discovery Referee or Special Master

A neutral "manager" assists the parties and counsel move forward through procedural issues, discovery issues and ultimately resolution more quickly and conveniently. The neutral decides issues for the parties as they move toward trial or some other forum. Depending on how the referral is made, by stipulation of the parties or by Court order (or a combination) the decisions of the neutral may be binding on the parties or serve as recommendations to the Court. A special master is particularly useful in multi-party disputes such as construction litigation and commercial matters.

[edit] Contact

111 Santa Rosa Avenue, Suite 202 Santa Rosa, CA 95404 - USA

Tel: (707) 525-9409

Fax: (707) 542-0215



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