Dispute Resolution in a Nutshell

Salim, a Black man with black hair, wears a white shirt, yellow tie and navy jacket.By Salim Uqdah 

It’s been an excellent year for the Dispute Resolution Section. We awarded our inaugural Harmony Award to Deb Dilman of Southpark Family Law in Charlotte and the Peace Award to J. Randolph Ward. Section Chair Jim Cooley implemented meaningful task forces to foster innovation in the field. Finally, the Race & Equity Committee has launched a new “Try Someone New” campaign to promote the use of talented, diverse mediators across the state.

The Dispute Resolution Section addresses issues relevant to both mediation and arbitration and acts as a resource for practicing mediators, arbitrators and attorneys who utilize alternative dispute resolution. Here are definitions of the various methods of dispute resolution:

  • Arbitration – a quasi-judicial forum where disputing parties agree that one or several individuals can rule on the dispute after receiving evidence and hearing arguments based on law.
  • Collaborative Law – a process in which disputants agree, in writing, with their counsel and each other to use interest-based negotiation techniques in an effort to settle a dispute without litigation. If the disputants fail to settle, their lawyers are disqualified from representing their clients in litigation.
  • Conflict Coaching – a form of coaching that allows an outside party to assist one of the disputants without the knowledge of the other. Can include performance or divorce coaching practices.
  • Dispute System Design – the applied art and science of designing the means to prevent, manage, and resolve streams of disputes or conflict.
  • Dispute Resolution Board – an organizational dispute resolution design that can take a myriad of forms, including a multistep procedure culminating in mediation or arbitration or both, ombuds programs giving disputants different process choices, or simply a single-step binding arbitration.
  • Early Neutral Evaluation – an impartial third party with substantive expertise listens to each side present its interests and positions along with a summary of its evidence. The evaluator gives the parties and their counsel a preliminary opinion on the merits of the dispute; the process operates as a reality check.
  • Facilitation/ Facilitator – a facilitator chairs all meetings as well as any working groups and orchestrates discussion by asking problem-solving questions in an effort to help the parties identify underlying shared interests and brainstorm possible ideas for settlement (defined as reaching an agreement or solving a problem).
  • Mediation – negotiation assisted by a third party with no decision-making power. The mediator may not impose a solution; she may only assist parties to reach a mutually agreeable voluntary settlement.
  • Organizational Ombuds  – professionals who work with individuals and groups in an organization to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns, and to bring systemic concerns to the attention of the organization for resolution.
  • Peacebuilding – a process involves a range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict by strengthening national capacities at all levels for conflict management, and to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
  • Stand-by Neutral a third party assists the principals (and their counsel or agents) in negotiating a mutually consensual resolution by fostering communication and aiding in problem-solving.

If you are interested in joining the Dispute Resolution Section and getting involved in one of our many Committees, please use this link to express your interest. We would love for any attorneys, paralegals, and non-legal practitioners to join.