Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") refers to any method of resolving a dispute outside the traditional litigation process. We offer experienced and trained arbitrators, mediators, and other qualified ADR neutrals. We advise clients on the use and feasibility of ADR techniques such as arbitration, mediation, or neutral evaluation, and we represent them in ADR proceedings. We also advise clients and attorneys on drafting arbitration and mediation clauses and other ADR provisions in contracts and similar documents when appropriate for our clients' goals.
We advise clients on the use and feasibility of ADR techniques such as arbitration, mediation, or neutral evaluation, and we represent them in ADR proceedings.”
Arbitration and mediation are the two best known ADR methods, but several others exist: neutral evaluation, facilitated settlement negotiations, summary jury trial, minitrial, med-arb, and combinations of two or more methods. ADR often represents a faster, less expensive and more private means of resolving disputes. Another advantage of ADR is that the "neutral" can be selected by the parties for his or her specific experience, knowledge, and availability.
We have used ADR to resolve numerous disputes pre-litigation and have encouraged the use of ADR clauses in business agreements. We have trained other arbitrators and mediators, and have presented seminars on many ADR topics. We helped establish a mediation organization and assisted in writing the original rules for a court-annexed arbitration program. We have lawyers whom the ADR Review Board of the Minnesota Supreme Court has designated as qualified ADR neutrals and who have mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases pending in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies. Courts have appointed our lawyers as arbitrators, mediators, receivers, special masters, and referees. Our lawyers are on panels of neutrals of the American Arbitration Association, U.S. Arbitration & Mediation of Minnesota, Center for Public Resources, The Mediation Center, and other agencies.
The acquirer of a community bank (our client) claimed that the seller breached representations and warranties regarding the securities held in the bank's investment portfolio. Because the seller needed to resolve the case quickly for tax reasons, we arbitrated the case before a neutral arbitrator soon after the dispute arose. Instead of a two-year lawsuit, the case was over in less than two months, and our client received a seven-figure settlement.
Our client, a national franchisor, received an arbitration claim from an ex-franchisee claiming wrongful termination, fraud, and breach of the franchise agreement. After several days of arbitration hearings through the American Arbitration Association in Chicago, the arbitrator ruled in favor of our franchisor and rejected the multi-million dollar claims of the former franchisee. The arbitrator's award was confirmed by an Illinois court.
A contract packager filed an arbitration claim with the American Arbitration Association in New York City against our client, a Fortune 500 food manufacturer. After a multi-day arbitration hearing in New York City, the arbitrator rejected all of the vendor's claims and ruled in favor of our client on its counterclaims.
The local federal court appointed one of our lawyers, from a list of names submitted by the parties, to serve on a panel of arbitrators for a patent infringement claim.
One of our attorneys was appointed an arbitrator by the American Arbitration Association to hear an employment and breach of contract case. Midway through the arbitration, both parties came in and told the arbitrator that for different reasons, continuing the arbitration was in neither party's interest. The parties asked, and the arbitrator agreed, to convert the arbitration into a mediation session. The case was settled by the end of the day.
An unhappy patient sued a major medical clinic, our client, for injuries sustained while at the clinic. The parties agreed to seek a neutral evaluation of the case by a respected independent lawyer. The neutral evaluation favored the clinic; the patient voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit.
When a franchisee sought approval for a purchaser of her business, the franchisor, our client, objected on the ground that the proposed transaction involved a dramatic reduction in the size of the business, contrary to the franchisor's interests. After a hearing, the arbitrator upheld our client's position.
Several former employees filed a suit seeking to invalidate their non-competition agreements with our client. They refused to abide by an arbitration clause in one of their agreements, but eventually agreed to mediate before a retired judge. The mediated settlement resulted in a continuation of the non-competition agreement on terms that were agreeable to both sides.
James L. Baillie
David P. Bunde
Clinton E. Cutler
James E. Dorsey
Emily E. Duke
Dulce J. Foster
Thomas S. Fraser
Kent G. Harbison
Dean R. Karau
John M. Koneck
Thomas R. Muck
Steven J. Quam
Anne M. Radolinski
Richard A. Ross
Karen G. Schanfield
Richard D. Snyder
Joseph G. Springer
Todd A. Wind