I provide technology dispute mediation services. Mediation is an effective way to resolve technology-related business disputes, quickly, privately, and without the continuing costs of litigation. Mediation can help put an end to costly arguments that disrupt normal business operations, such as those involving:
- Dissatisfied customers
- Current and former employees
- Vendors or distributors
- Intellectual property
- Partnership disputes
- Leadership succession
- Dissolution of business relationships
- Non-compete agreements
- Family business disputes
- Income distribution and profit-sharing
- Software development
- Systems Integration
- Service Level Agreements
- Joint Ventures
- Techology Licenses
- Distributorship disputes
- Confidential Information
What is Mediation?
Mediation is facilitated negotiation. My role as mediator is that of a neutral who has no stake in the outcome of a dispute and no bias for or against you or any other party to the dispute. I assist the parties in reaching an agreement that is acceptable to them. The agreement is not imposed upon you; it is reached through the facilitated negotiation process. There are no rules of evidence and not set procedures for the presentation of your concerns. Before mediation begins, you and I and the other the parties to the dispute agree upon the procedures that we will follow.
Advantages of Mediation
Skillful mediation helps parties be heard. The mediator works to ensure that neither party dominates the process. Although the mediator does not act as an attorney for either party or give legal advice, the mediator may provide substantial legal information in helping the parties look at the likelihood of a court-imposed result. The mediator guides the parties in achieving a reasonable and realistic agreement, which may be filed in court as the resolution of a litigated matter. A mediated settlement is effective because the parties themselves create the agreement. This gives the parties a greater stake in making it work than they would have with court-imposed orders.
Prior to the mediation, I will communicate with the parties and their representatives individually. These preliminary discussions provide:
• An introduction to the participants and the mediation process.
• An opportunity for you to discuss issues affecting settlement which are important for me to know in advance.
• An opportunity for me to determine what information would be helpful for me to have at or in advance of the mediation.
• An appropriate time to discuss any concerns you might have about the mediation and your role in the process.
The Joint Meeting
When the procedures have been agreed to and a mediation agreement has been signed, we will schedule the mediation session. The mediation normally begins with a joint conference among all of the parties and their counsel. The joint session provides an opportunity for each participant, either directly or through counsel, to present their issues, approaches and concerns regarding the dispute and its potential settlement.
After the initial joint meeting, I will engage in one or more private and confidential meetings or caucuses with each of the parties and their representatives to explore their interests and possible settlement opportunities and facilitate settlement negotiations. I keep any and all information you disclose to me confidential unless you authorize its disclosure.
In these sessions, I will often help you to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of your contentions in the dispute and help you to understand the risks involved in failing to resolve the matter. If, through facilitative negotiation, you are able to reach agreement on settlement, I will help you memorialize your agreement for signature.
In some cases, telephone conferences occur following mediation sessions if no agreement has yet been reached. Sometimes, further information is required for the process to continue or additional people may need to be involved in the decision making process. If necessary, I will work with counsel to finalize a settlement agreement and determine the procedures necessary for implementation.
Standard charges for my services as mediator are based on a per-diem, per-party rate, plus travel and any lodging expenses for mediation sessions that are conducted outside western Pennsylvania. For multiparty disputes, the per-diem, per-party rate is reduced. Pre-mediation session preparation, post-mediation session follow-up and all other additional costs are included in the per-party, per-diem fee.
Any mediation session conducted during a calendar day is included in the fee. There are no minimum or maximum hours per day included. No additional billing is charged for mediation that continues by telephone for any matter that does not settle on the calendar day of the mediation session. If an additional mediation session or party caucus is required, this is billed at the standard per-party, per-diem fee structure.