An Alternative Route To A Resolution?
Mediation and Arbitration – Alternative Dispute Resolutions…
Not everybody relishes the idea of going to a court arbitration or mediation are methods of avoiding a court hearing. For many people, its the idea of a court hearing that puts them off bringing a claim. It is true that as we move into the 21st century, this age old method of verbal combat is perhaps facing its last days. Alternatives to a court room such as mediation and arbitration are therefore becoming popular.
The social media generation handle things much better. PayPal and Ebay both have resolution centres that are quick and simple to use. The same may well one day be true for medical disputes. Until then, the court process as it currently stands, is still strong. It is not though, the only way through:
Mediation is method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that has gained a lot of traction in the last 10 years. It has a senior lawyer or someone with years of experience in the specialist field who works now as a mediator.
They act as a go between. They move back and forward carefully among the warring parties; helping with the debate and getting the people involved focusing on the things that need to be resolved instead of each other.
A truly skilled mediator is a rare thing. There are plenty of lawyers and even medics playing this game. However, few of them are really equipped with the skills to make these sessions work. I once had a Barrister acting as a mediator, begin the session by stating “mediation is about disappointing everyone”.
The need to agree a mediator who is open but also diplomatic is essential. The final agreement is not binding on the parties unless it is bound up in a court order, it is up until that point, a matter of honor.
Arbitration is a sort of half way house. An expert, very similar to a mediator above, hears both sides of the dispute and then pronounces what the correct solution should be. Both parties must address the arbitrator but can do so in a manner which is less formal than a court hearing. The crucial point about arbitration is that it requires both parties to agree to be bound by the decision before starting.
There are other methods of concluding a claim: however, 99% of the ADR that takes place in the UK is Arbitration or Mediation. If you have a claim that you think is suitable for medical arbitration, get in touch.
The Law Med Medical Panel is an unincorporated association its members are clinical negligence accredited specialists.
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