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Alternative Dispute Resolution FAQs

1.  What is mediation?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution whereby a neutral third party works with the parties to assist the parties in reaching a negotiated settlement.

2.  What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a private determination of a dispute by a neutral third party. As opposed to mediation, arbitration results in the arbitrator or arbitrators making an award. Generally, a dispute arbitration is decided by either a single appointed or selected arbitrator or a tribunal of appointed or selected arbitrators.

3.  What is AAA Arbitration?

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is a nonprofit organization that has created a standardized set of arbitration rules and also administers arbitration proceedings, should the parties elect to utilize AAA.

4.  How to enforce a mediated settlement agreement?

If mediation results in an executed settlement agreement between the parties and if,  a party fails or refuses to abide by the settlement agreement, then the other party or parties may file a motion to enforce a settlement agreement in the appropriate court.

5.  How to enforce an arbitration award?

Depending on the arbitration agreement, an arbitration award may be automatically binding on the parties in the form of a filed judgment for the prevailing party. However, absent those circumstances and if necessary, a party may file a Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award in the appropriate court.

6.  Is mediation mandatory?

Generally, parties to a dispute can voluntarily submit their dispute to mediation in hopes of reaching a resolution. However, many business contracts dictate that any dispute between parties be first submitted to mediation before submitting the dispute to the court. Moreover, in situations where one party has filed a lawsuit against another in the Superior Courts of North Carolina, the parties will be ordered to attend mediation prior to trial.

If you have a dispute that requires the assistance of a mediation lawyer, please contact Hannah Sheridan & Cochran, LLP, at 919-859-6840. As one of the top law firms in North Carolina, we are qualified to represent clients in dispute resolution.


North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission

North Carolina District Court Arbitration

North Carolina Superior Court Mediation

American Arbitration Association

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