Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Anastasi Jellum provides confidential, cost-effective alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in the following areas:
- Business and Commercial Disputes
- Commercial Banking
- Real Estate
With many years of experience practicing law in these areas, Dave Anastasi has the skills and demeanor to help the parties resolve issues by facilitating discussion to reach an acceptable resolution to disputed matters. Dave is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice.
Dave Anastasi serves as a mediator in banking, real estate and construction disputes. He has practiced law for more than 20 years on general corporate matters, banking law and regulatory compliance. Dave has significant experience in commercial loan documentation; loan collection, workouts and forbearances; and commercial banking litigation. He provides guidance to banks, landowners and developers on real estate sales and acquisitions, subdivisions and zoning issues, foreclosures, and leasing matters impacting both residential and commercial real estate. Prior to entering law school, Dave worked as a credit manager in the construction industry and was a licensed real estate agent. Dave has received an AV® Peer Review Rating in the distinguished legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell®* was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers®, 2001 and 2003 Editions.
Scheduling a Mediation.
To discuss your situation or to schedule a mediation, contact Karen Germain at (651) 332-8338 or Karen@AJ-Law.com to get started down the road to resolving your dispute. The mediation can take place in a private conference room at our offices conveniently located just off of Highway 36 in Stillwater, or other location of the parties’ choice. At Anastasi Jellum, we are committed to providing skilled, confidential and cost-effective services at a time and place convenient for all parties.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) used by parties to a dispute to resolve the dispute. In most civil cases, some form of ADR is ordered by the court. Mediation is the most popular form of ADR used by state and federal courts to facilitate the settlement of litigation. It is a process whereby a trained, third-party mediator facilitates the settlement discussion and negotiation between the parties in a confidential, informal conference.
Mediation is a voluntary process; the court has the power to order parties to a case to participate in mediation, but the parties are not obligated to reach an agreement.
When Mediation is Required.
Mediation is a court-ordered process, ancillary to the litigation process. The court has the power to order parties to a case to participate in mediation, but the parties are not obligated to settle. Statistics show that 95% of all civil cases are resolved without a trial, either by dismissal, settlement, or because of mediation.
Parties to Mediation.
All parties to the case are required to attend, in person. For businesses, a person with full authority to settle is required to attend. Most often, counsel for the parties attends as well.
Timeframe for Mediation to Occur.
Mediation can occur at any time, before litigation is commenced, during litigation, or even during an appeal. Usually, it occurs after litigation commenced, after most discovery is complete, and the facts and issues are clarified. Mediation can occur in one session, usually lasting about 4-6 hours, or over multiple days.
The process is managed by the mediator. While each mediator has their own style, the process tends to follow a fairly standard protocol:
- Before the mediation session, each party submits a confidential, written statement of issues and position to the mediator.
- At the opening session, sometimes all parties are together for preliminary discussions. However, very early on the parties typically are separated.
- The mediator proceeds to meet separately with each party, shuttling between rooms.
- Offers and counteroffers are shared, issues discussed and clarified, and options discussed.
- The mediator cannot give legal advice, make any binding decision, and should allow the party to make their own informed decision on settlement.
- Statements and offers made in mediation are confidential and are not to be disclosed to the court, or anyone else.
- A settlement agreement made at mediation, and signed by the parties, is a separate binding and enforceable contract.
Selecting the Mediator.
Usually the attorneys for the parties pick the mediator from a list of trained and certified mediators. It is best, but not required, that the mediator has practice experience in the area of law at issue.
Usually each party pays half the mediators fees. One reason for this is to avoid the appearance of bias or lack of neutrality. If there are more than two parties, each party pays it’s pro rata share.
Preparing for Mediation.
It is not required that you prepare for mediation, but you should. Even though court ordered, most participants in mediation are tired of the litigation process and come with a degree of openness towards compromise. It is important to work with your counsel to develop a settlement strategy to achieve an acceptable settlement. Since the process is informal, the mediator is often in direct communication with the party, albeit with counsel present. Nonetheless, this is still a negotiation, and each side has competing agendas. Thus, one should have a plan as to what offers should be made. It is also important to consider the ramifications of certain options to settle so that rash decisions are not made and impediments to settlement previously considered and alternatives developed.
If There is No Settlement.
If there is no settlement during mediation, the case proceeds with the schedule set forth by the court. The parties can return to mediation or continue their own direct settlement negotiations.
*AV® is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
David C. Anastasi
Qualified Neutral, Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice