Central New Jersey Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyer

ADR: Mediation and Arbitration Services

When compared to being tied up in months or years of litigation, the economic and emotional savings to a client who is able to resolve a dispute in one to three days through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes can hardly be exaggerated. Attorney Hanan M. Isaacs was one of New Jersey’s earliest proponents of divorce mediation and arbitration. Today, Mr. Isaacs serves as a professional mediator and arbitrator, and also as a consultant on such issues to the CPA and general business community and the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. He has trained hundreds of human resources professionals, lawyers and business community members in the art and craft of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, conflict resolution, dispute systems design, ethics, and practice building.

We invite you to review the general information below on ADR. If you would like to speak to Mr. Isaacs about his services in the area of divorce mediation, arbitration of a civil dispute or training, please contact our office to arrange a consultation.

What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?

Alternative dispute resolution includes mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, facilitation and other ways of resolving disputes without resorting to expensive and stressful trials in public courts. Two basic types of alternative dispute resolution exist: nonbinding methods, including mediation, negotiation and facilitation, which assist parties in reaching either full or partial agreement; and binding arbitration or adjudication, wherein a neutral decision-maker rules on the dispute. Combinations of these methods are also available for multi-issue disputes.

When is ADR appropriate?

ADR best serves individuals who are willing to communicate with each other and attempt to work out their dispute with the help of a trained neutral. It is useful in a wide range of conflicts, including commercial disputes, professional liability cases, personal injury claims, insurance coverage disputes, employment law cases, and divorce. ADR is not an option, however, in cases of domestic violence, child abuse or criminal cases.

How does ADR compare and contrast with litigation?

  • Attorneys committed to alternative dispute resolution are problem-solvers. By encouraging our client to participate actively in the resolution of the dispute, we guarantee that our client has an opportunity to develop a solution he or she can live with.
  • ADR is less expensive and stressful than a trial, is a private process with no public record of proceedings, and commonly resolves an issue in a fraction of the time it takes in court.
  • Participants in ADR have the opportunity to develop working co-parenting or business relationships.
  • Our lawyers work with our clients in strategic planning, discovery, ADR process selection and settlement negotiations. In contested proceedings, we ask for clients’ ideas, feedback and constructive criticism.
  • In ADR, participants contribute to their own solutions. In a trial, a judge who is a stranger to the parties issues an order.

What do you do as an ADR lawyer?

At Hanan M. Isaacs, P.C., near Princeton, we are skilled and experienced trial lawyers who are always ready to take our client’s case to trial if the other party is unwilling to consider a fair settlement. But most often we achieve superior results without the risks and expenses of litigation. Before negotiations begin with the other party, we focus on improving our client’s negotiating position by reducing our client’s dependence on the negotiated outcome. We also gather as much data as may be necessary to allow our client to make a full and informed decision about settlement options, offers or counter-offers. Finally, we make recommendations for their consideration while making it clear that the client gets the final word on settlement acceptance or rejection.

What is the role of a neutral?

Arbitration and mediation clients like neutrals with a “real world” understanding of the adversarial model, since so much of a neutral’s work is done in the law’s shadow. As a trial attorney who also serves as a neutral mediator, arbitrator or adjudicator, Mr. Isaacs brings insight, integrity and practicality to the table. When specific subject matter expertise is required, he encourages the parties to cooperate in selection of neutral experts, or offers to select them. His general approach is to help parties efficiently resolve their differences, promoting “win-win” outcomes whenever possible.

ADR: The link between transactional law and litigation

The ADR field has brought transactional lawyers and advocates together as never before. ADR mechanisms constructed by one have to be interpreted and implemented by the other. There also is an important role for each set of competencies in the postdispute ADR setting, where mechanisms are created after a dispute arises.

ADR for businesses, families and individuals

A cottage industry is developing for ADR; receptive lawyers as coaches and consultants to businesses, families and individuals. At Hanan M. Isaacs, P.C., our Princeton family law attorneys take multidisciplinary approaches to dispute avoidance, conflict detection, collaborative decision-making, dispute systems design and organizational development.

ADR and litigation; How Does This Two-Track Approach Actually Work?

Within our practice, Mr. Isaacs continuously monitors results achieved through negotiation and litigation. He has noticed two key trends. First, we consistently settle many cases on terms far superior to results anticipated if the cases had been litigated, and at a fraction of the time and cost. Second, we are able to diagnose the dimensions of a client’s disputed matter and design a strategy for a successful outcome. In performing that function, we pay close attention to the client’s (1) financial and human resources and constraints, (2) temperament, and (3) attitudes toward conflict. Before helping a client chart a particular course, we perform a corresponding evaluation of “the other side.”

For example, when faced with a client’s stated need for an emergency court application, we evaluate the risks and benefits of the court filing with and for that particular client. If the decision is made to file, we will take that action while clearly signaling (1) that we will treat the other party as worthy of respect, and (2) that our door remains open at all times to reasonable dialogue, constructive engagement and joint problem solving.

This two-track approach keeps clients focused on their true needs; encourages interest-based solutions on both sides; keeps the level of destructive behavior to a minimum (at least from “our side”); keeps attorney time and costs down or justifies their expenditure; produces qualitatively and often quantitatively better outcomes; satisfies clients’ legitimate need to know why the results are the way they are; and produces better relationships with opposing counsel, opposing parties and, as applicable, judges and court staff.

If you would like to speak to a member of our firm regarding representation or arbitration or mediation services, or have any other question about our practice, please contact our Kingston, New Jersey, office to arrange a consultation. We accept credit cards and offer general appointments from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, plus evening appointments during the week by pre-arrangement only. Please call 609-683-7400.

Related Articles

Significant Cases

  • Fawzy v. Fawzy (2009)
  • Lerner v. Laufer, 359 N.J. Super. 201 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 177 N.J. 223 (2003

Audio Files