Alternative Dispute Resolution
“The ability of parties to sit across the table from each other in a neutral and confidential setting, looking to solve problems rather than take advantage of each other is a great service to the public.”
– Leonard J. Frankel
Although lawyers may be best known for prosecuting and defending claims in court, in view of the extremely high cost, lengthy duration and uncertainty as to outcome, many individuals and corporations are looking to alternative dispute resolution. At Frankel, Rubin, Klein, Siegel, Payne & Pudlowski, P.C., Leonard J. Frankel can assist as either a mediator, arbitrator, collaborative lawyer, special master or parent coordinator.
Mediation is a process in which the disputing parties hire a neutral third party to assist them in negotiating a resolution of their issues. Mediation is generally less expensive when contrasted to the expense of litigation. Also, in an era when it may take as long as a year or more to have a trial, mediation provides a more timely way of resolving disputes. Mediators have special training to help facilitate settlements on the most favorable terms to all parties involved. Mediation can be used for any type of dispute or claim.
Sometimes parties want a neutral third party to decide their issues but want to avoid the courtroom. Factors to be considered are the expertise of the neutral, time to resolution and cost. In that instance an arbitrator or having a special master appointed by the court may be the best option for alternative dispute resolution. In an arbitration the parties refer their dispute to an arbitrator, who hears and reviews the evidence presented by the parties or their lawyers and renders a decision that can be legally binding and enforceable in court. A special master is a lawyer appointed by the court to hear a case and issues a decision which is then reviewable by the court and becomes a judgment of the court.
A parent coordinator is a neutral third party appointed by a court to hear post-divorce matters pertaining to disputes regarding parenting plans. It is an alternative dispute resolution process that can resolve issues much quicker and less expensive than a motion to modify a dissolution.
The collaborative approach to solving problems is one where the parties and their lawyers commit to reach an agreement before going to court. The parties retain control of the decisions rather than having a third party (judge or jury) decide what will happen. The parties commit in writing to be part of a respectful process that will lead to a settlement that can be approved by a judge. The goal is to develop effective relationship, solve problems jointly and prevent a court battle.
Leonard Frankel is listed in the “The Best Lawyers In America” for his knowledge and expertise with regard to alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Frankel has the expertise and training to help all parties facilitate a resolution to their disputes. He is recognized as a Neutral by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and under the Missouri Supreme Court Rule 17. Mr. Frankel also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Washington University School of Law in the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution program and is a member of the mediation training faculty at Washington University.
His mediation experience includes employment law, personal injury, contract, statutory remedies and family law. He co-authored “Why Cases Settle, Why Cases Don’t Settle” which appeared in the St. Louis Bar Journal in winter 2005 and was the author of “Presuit Mediation – A Missed Opportunity?” in the summer 2012 St. Louis Bar Journal. He was named Family Law Mediator for 2012 and the St. Louis Mediator for 2013 by the “The Best Lawyers In America.” Leonard has been selected by his peers for the inclusion in the 20th Edition of The Best Lawyers in American for the practice areas of Family Law Mediation and Mediation. Lenny has also been named The Best Lawyers’ 2014 St. Louis Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year”.
Additionally, Mr. Frankel has served as an arbitrator performing personal injury and commercial arbitrations and has served as a special master for both the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Circuit Court of St Louis County. He is also a member of the St. Louis Collaborative Family Law Association and serves as a parent coordinator.
For more information regarding mediation, please visit my LinkedIn page.