How do I determine which ADR service to select? - Federal Maritime Commission - Federal Maritime Commission
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How do I determine which ADR service to select?

Parties often ask about the differences between our Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services. The chart below provides a general comparison of these services:

Ombuds/Rapid Response vs. Mediation

Ombuds Mediation
CADRS neutral provides various techniques (e.g. obtaining information, informal coaching, telephonic mediation, etc.) to assist two or more parties resolve challenges or disputes between ADR process used to resolve disputes between two or more parties
Deals with immediate emergency issues in real time that are not being addressed in a litigation setting; generally faster case response and turnaround Can deal with immediate or ongoing issues that may or may not be in litigation
Parties control outcome; either party/ombuds can terminate at any time Parties control outcome; either party/ mediator can terminate at any time
Informal agreement to resolve dispute Parties enter a formal written settlement agreement at the successful end of mediation
Telephonic or electronic

Mediation vs. Facilitation

Mediation Facilitation
Used to resolve a specific commercial, regulatory, or other legal dispute between two or more parties Used to discuss or seek solutions for broad or general industry issues between three or more parties
Confidential Confidentiality protections may vary
Parties control process Facilitator guides the process with input from parties
Parties control outcome
Resolution reduced to settlement agreement Ideas, concepts, proposed resolution or consensus may be reduced to writing

Mediation vs. Binding Arbitration

Mediation Binding Arbitration
Voluntary participation by parties
Telephonic or in person
May address any type of issue in dispute (e.g. commercial, regulatory, contractual, personality conflicts, preservation of business relationships etc.) Limited to legal issues
Parties control outcome; Either party or mediator may terminate mediation at any time and litigate or arbitrate Outcome controlled by arbitrator’s factual and legal determination; parties cannot unilaterally terminate arbitration
Parties enter into a written settlement agreement at the end of a successful mediation. Arbitrator issues a final decision called an “award”