Med – Arb

Mediation – Arbitration

Durham County attorney certified as a Superior Court mediator serving Durham County and surrounding areas.  As an experienced lawyer I recommend alternative resolution processes such as arbitration or mediation.

Mediation and arbitration are types of alternative dispute resolution processes.  They are alternatives to the traditional court trial process.  Many people do not like to go to trial because they either feel intimidated or do not know the rules.  Some people cannot afford an attorney so they go alone.  Sometimes the outcome is not favorable.


Q: I was involved in a car wreck.  I received a letter from the court that I have to go to mediation.  What is this?  What if I do not like what is decided at mediation?

A:  Mediation is a process where a neutral third-party, a mediator, attempts to help two or more parties reach a resolution to their legal matter.  A mediator does not make a decision for/against either party.  A mediator is a facilitator.  Mediation is required in all civil superior court cases and child custody cases.  Mediation is utlitied in many other areas of law such as workers’ compensation claims.

If you decide to go to a trial in a case, the judge or jury decide the outcome.  Mediation is a great way to resolve your legal matter so that you have a say in the decision.  The parties generally split the cost of mediation.  But, a mediation may cost less than a trial if you have expenses such as expert witness and deposition costs.


Q:  I loaned my friend money and he never paid me back.  I sued him.  I received a notice from the court that I will have to go to an arbitration.  What is this?  Do I have to go?

A :  Arbitration is mandatory for all cases in all civil district court cases with a dollar value under $15,000.  Arbitration in district court is before one arbiter.  It is non-binding.  Arbitration is similar to a court trial, but less formal and generally more expeditious.  An arbitrator or panel of arbitrators hear the testimony and evidednce presented by both sides and render a decision like a judge or jury.  Arbitration can be binding or non-binding.  If it is binding, then the decision is usually final.  If non-binding, then either party can usually appeal the decision to a court or other tribunal.  The costs of arbitration are usually split between the parties.

Many contracts contain arbitration clauses.  If you have a dispute about a contract and it contains an arbitration clause, you will need to go through arbitration before you can go to court.  It is important to know if your contract contains an arbitration clause.  If so, it is important to understand where the arbitration will take place.  It may not be in North Carolina.


Do you need representation in any of these situations?  Do you need an artbitrator or mediator?  Contact Wickward Law Office for all of your needs.

4819 Emperor Blvd., Suite 400
Durham, NC  27703