Sometimes, people do not see mediation as an option for their cases for very good reasons; yet the public trial system does not meet their needs either. This can be due to time delays in the system, to the public-ness of the forum, to the subject area complexity of the matter to be tried, or other reasons. We have found in our practice that in these circumstances people are looking for an alternative way to manage cases outside of court, to the point of settlement or trial.
This means that they construct a process that is parallel to the courts, for the organized and efficient flow of a case to conclusion, with a professional who understands the legal substance, the subject matter content, the way court processes work and in whom the parties have mutual confidence. This person, who may be called a master or an arbitrator, holds initial conferences with the lawyers to lay out a road map for information gathering called discovery, for the creation of interim orders such as alimony, child support and custody. He or she sets up settlement conferences; and if necessary, tries the case as a judge would, except in a private setting and at the time and place determined by the parties.
Many clients and lawyers find this form of alternative dispute resolution to be effective and efficient.