Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution Series: Early Neutral Evaluation

We continue our Alternative Dispute Resolution Series with a discussion of Early Neutral Evaluation. Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE), also known as “Neutral Case Evaluation” and “Case Evaluation,” is when one or both parties use a third-party neutral to evaluate the strength of their case, generally early in the life of the dispute. Just as with arbitration and mediation, there are different forms and styles of ENE, but the core structure is the same. In ENE, the third-party neutral reviews the evidence, listens to parties’ summaries of their cases, and gives the parties a written evaluation of the case.

The Benefits of Early Neutral Evaluation

Parties, including clients and their attorneys, often inaccurately assess the strength of a case. This can lead to...

Read More

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution Series: 3 Secrets to Mediation Success

In our Alternative Dispute Resolution Series , we highlighted why mediation and arbitration are increasingly popular alternatives to litigation in business disputes. In this post, we’ll dive into three strategies you should employ when mediating a dispute.

Mediation is a commonly used alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method where parties can enlist the help of a third-party neutral (the mediator) to hopefully come to a resolution. As we discussed in our earlier post in the ADR Series, in mediation, the parties in dispute have much more control over the process than they would have in litigation. In this post, we’ll discuss how parties can take advantage of this process in order to increase their likelihood of success:

1. Separate the people from the problem

It is...

Read More

Contracts

Alternative Dispute Resolution Series: Arbitration

In our last post in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Series, we discussed the growing ADR industry and the basics of mediation. In this post, we’ll discuss the other very popular ADR method, arbitration.

In arbitration, a third-party neutral (arbitrator) hears both sides of a dispute and decides on a specific issue or award. Often, an arbitration is very similar to a trial, because the parties will present opening statements, evidence, witnesses, and closing statements. Witnesses are also generally subject to direct and cross examination. However, the biggest difference is that the arbitrator takes the place of the decision maker in a trial. After the arbitrator reviews the evidence and hears the case from both sides, he or she will issue a...

Read More

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

ADR Series: Beginner’s Guide to Mediation

Mediation is a process where a third-party neutral (the mediator) guides the parties through the negotiation process, and the parties decide on a mutually-beneficial agreement. Mediation is generally a non-binding alternative to litigation that allows parties to work with a neutral to air their grievances and receive neutral feedback on how best to reach a resolution.

Mediation dates back to ancient cultures. The traditions of Confucianism and Buddhism encourage finding agreement through moral persuasion rather than coercion. The Ancient Greeks and Romans employed intercessors in settling disputes. And as the world became more connected, mediation took on a significant role in international relations. The United Nations Charter names mediation as an important means for peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In the United States, influenced...

Read More

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Series: The Basics of Alternative Dispute Resolution

The phrase “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) refers to the different methods parties in conflict use to resolve disputes rather than filing a traditional lawsuit in court. The process can be as simple as meeting to discuss a possible settlement or as formal as an arbitration that can look a lot like a trial. ADR is growing industry, because many “consumers” are fed up with the high costs of lawyers and litigation and the uncertainty surrounding a drawn out court battle. ADR generally decreases costs and expedites the process of reaching an agreement between parties in dispute. It’s popularity and benefits are so valued that many courts now require parties to a suit to go through mandatory arbitration or mediation before...

Read More

Contracts

Series | Understanding Contract Terms

In this iVLG blog series, we take common terms you see in your business contracts and help break them down, so you can understand what exactly the terms mean, the role of each term in your contract, and how to explain to the other side why the term makes sense.

We know that reading a contract can be a daunting task, especially when it’s full of words you may not have seen or don’t fully understand. Our goal is to help you understand why contracts include the “boilerplate” terms and how those terms may affect your business. Next time you sign on the dotted line, you’ll know exactly what you’re agreeing to.

The understanding contract terms series will breakdown the following contract...

Read More

Corporate Finance & Securities

When are FINRA Members Subject to the Arbitration Provisions of FINRA’s Customer Code?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a trio of opinions in 2013 which determine the scope of FINRA’s customer code. The customer code allows customers of FINRA members to initiate arbitration proceedings against a FINRA member.

Background FINRA is a private self-regulatory organization that has the authority to exercise comprehensive oversight over all securities firms that do business with the public.

FINRA’s Customer Code governs arbitration between customers of FINRA members and FINRA members. (There is also an Industry Code which governs disputes between FINRA members.)

Rule 12200 provides that parties must arbitrate a dispute under the Customer Code if: (1) Arbitration under the Code is either: (a) required by a written agreement, or (b) requested by the customer; (2) the dispute is...

Read More

Contracts

Understanding Contract Terms (post 6): Arbitration

As is the case with all the terms we discuss in this series, you have likely run across the term arbitration in a number of contracts. You also probably have a vague idea of what arbitration is. Today’s post will give you a better understanding of why contracts include an arbitration clause, including some of the benefits and drawbacks to using arbitration instead of the traditional litigation process.

First things first, let’s explore the definition of arbitration. Webster’s Dictionary defines arbitration as the hearing and determination of a case in controversy by an arbiter. Essentially, when a dispute arises between two parties, the case is brought before a neutral third party (the arbitrator), and each side presents its side of the...

Read More

Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup 2012 Weeks 19 & 20: Corporate Governance; IPO’s; Arbitration Clauses; Venture Capital

Corporate Governance

CEO Resigns After Erroneous Academic Credentials Discovered Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson stepped down after admitting that he misstated his academic credentials. His resume reported that he had degrees in both accounting and computer science, however he has no degree in computer sciences. The misstated credentials were discovered by Dan Loeb, a manager of Third Point, a New York hedge fund that owns 6% of Yahoo’s outstanding stock. Third Point, had been contending that Yahoo was being mismanaged, and was attempting to get three of its nominees elected to the Yahoo board of directors. Apparently Yahoo did not use a background checking firm in its process of appointing a new executive officer. In the fallout from Mr. Thompson’s resignation, the board...

Read More

Contracts

Getting to Know Your Employment Agreement: Details on the Key Provisions of a Standard Employment Contract

Your company is ready to hire an employee. You searched the internet for free employment agreements. You finally found one you’d like to use. Here’s the problem: you don’t understand what every term of the employment agreement means and, more importantly, how those terms are going to affect your business moving forward. Luckily, we’ve boiled down some of the key features of a standard employment agreement for you in this article.

Most employment agreements will include provisions that detail the employee’s duties, term of employment, salary, employment start date, and any included benefits of the job. In addition to these employee-specific provisions, there are additional provisions that most employment agreements include, such as:

Confidentiality: this provision requires your new employee to agree...

Read More

146 N Canal Street, Suite 350   |   team@invigorlaw.com