At Miles, we have observed that alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) is getting less and less alternative, becoming just another routine feature of a dispute landscape dominated by litigation.  Combined with the ever-expanding scope and scale of civil disputes, the compromised state of ADR is becoming increasingly costly to disputing parties.

It does not have to be this way.

We are committed to helping parties realize the original principles and promise of ADR.  At the heart of it, ADR is about empowering parties to take and keep control of their disputes.  Whether anticipating disputes in arbitration clauses, securing early management of new disputes, or seeking resolution of costly mature disputes, we understand that parties who turn to ADR to seek control – of the process, the place, the timing, and most especially, the costs associated with the management of their disputes.

THE FUTURE OF RESOLUTION

We believe the future of resolution lies in creative, cost-effective dispute management.  Miles offers a comprehensive suite of services aimed at empowering parties to manage, rather than be managed by, their disputes.  Our professionals have broad experience and training as neutrals.  More importantly, they have between them hundreds of years of practice as advocates for parties in various ADR processes.  They know what is at stake for disputing parties and they know how to help parties leverage the true value of ADR.

So, what does this look like?

In the context of mediation:

  • An understanding that a mediation does not begin at a mediation conference
  • Each dispute is unique, and its mediation should be as well – the time and expense of in person conferences are not always the best fit.
  • Confidentiality underwrites the candor needed to assess needs and interests.
  • Mediation is a process with value beyond, and occasionally in lieu of, mere resolution.

In the context of arbitration:

  • Parties, not contract clauses, ultimately evaluate and set rules and process.
  • Collaboration is key to realizing the kind of economy and expedition that the parties elected before the dispute arose.
  • Strict avoidance of ex parte communications provides parties with confidence in the integrity of the process.
  • Mediation is not an afterthought in arbitration.
  • Summary and other “non-hearing” adjudication where appropriate.

In the context of litigation:

  • Early case evaluation.
  • Mediator engagement at scheduling order/FRCP 26(f) stage.
  • Mediator managed discovery negotiation and dispute resolution.

Without skilled attention to the principles and promise of ADR, disputes invariably take on a life of their own, draining the parties of money and other critical resources.  The neutrals at Miles are prepared to work creatively and collaboratively with parties who want to dispute on their own terms and dispute with purpose.