Alternative Dispute Resolution
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Litigation should be the last resort for clients in resolving conflicts given the disruption, expense publicity, and delay of most lawsuits. Instead, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provides mechanisms for avoiding or resolving disputes faster confidentially, and at a lower cost. It all offers the possibility of creative results as contrasted with the winner takes all outcome of most cases tried in court. To avoid litigation, reduce reputational risk, and control expenses, every organization and business person should understand and consider alternative dispute resolution options such as confidential negotiation, mediation, or arbitration.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Our attorneys routinely act as advocates in resolving disputes without lengthy and expensive lawsuits, and many of us also serve as neutrals in arbitration and mediation. Managing Member Francine Griesing is included on the American Arbitration Association Roster of Neutrals for commercial, employment and consumer matters, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution neutrals list for commercial, employment, and hotel franchise matters, and the Philadelphia Commerce Court Judge Pro Tempore list. She is also a member of CPR’s National Task Force on Diversity in ADR. Furthermore, Ms. Griesing has also been appointed by the Court and by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State to serve as a neutral in high stakes commercial and regulatory matters. She has published numerous articles and taught continuing legal education courses on arbitration, mediation and negotiation. Member Hope Comisky is included on the American Arbitration Association Roster of Neutrals for consumer and employment matters, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution neutrals list for employment. She has also served as a mediator and arbitrator through established programs in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Our attorneys are experienced representing clients in arbitration hearings when necessary, though we regularly obtain confidential resolutions for clients who prefer a less contentious option. We have extensive experience representing clients in person and remotely as well as serving as arbitrators and mediators live and virtually. By serving as dispute resolution professionals in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, we apply that experience to assess how parties perceive their rights and obligations and to craft resolutions that reduce risk and limit liability. We are experienced in handling the public relations challenges that often arise in sensitive matters, such as employment and shareholder disputes, and we strive to resolve these matters with all parties’ professional reputations intact.
We also advise clients in contract negotiation and drafting of ADR provisions in commercial and employment agreements so that they are best positioned to maximize their options in lieu of engaging in expensive and unpredictable litigation. We are on top of developments in mandatory arbitration and confidentiality issues, counseling clients to ensure that their ADR provisions are enforceable under current legal standards.
- Advised business clients on ADR options and negotiating ADR provisions in wide range of contracts in various industries, including developing restrictions of mandatory arbitration, class action waivers, and confidentiality.
- Served as sole arbitrator in employment dispute between major public entity and former top executive.
- Negotiated confidential separation agreements for various law firm partners and shareholders.
- Negotiated confidential separation agreements for C-Suite executives, General Counsel, and other in-house legal professionals.
- Served as neutral arbitrator in employment discrimination cases brought by former employee against public company employer, including class actions arising out of wage and hour disputes and in a whistleblower action.
- Served as sole arbitrator in dispute between buyer and seller of $100 million hospitality assets.
- Represented Board of religious institution in successful negotiation of employment dispute with principal clergy.
- Served as court-appointed neutral mediator in multiple commercial disputes including partnership disputes, trade secret disputes between employers and former employees, and claims between companies and key employees over alleged ownership interest in business.
- Negotiated separation agreement for the general counsel of a biotechnology firm.
- Served a government appointed arbitrator in multi-party dispute high stakes matter involving competing health insurers over compliance with state law including conducting lengthy proceedings virtually.
- Represented multiple technology companies and customers in disputes over functionality of and ownership rights in custom software.
- Served as arbitrator in several lengthy arbitrations that were consolidated to be heard jointly by multiple arbitrators with each neutral deciding their designated matters separately.
- Resolved a non-compete dispute with former high-level executive on behalf of a large retailer.