Alternative Dispute Resolution
Clients facing legal disputes often wish to avoid costly courtroom litigation as well as to preserve their relationships with the opposing parties. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term that refers to the various ways a dispute may be settled outside of court. ADR includes mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce
Mediation, including mediation of business disputes, personal injury claims, general civil litigation and divorce, is a dispute resolution method designed to help opposing parties resolve their differences voluntarily and without going to court. In mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) meets with the opposing sides to help them find a mutually satisfactory solution. Unlike a judge in the courtroom, the mediator has no power to impose a solution. No formal rules of evidence or procedure control mediation; typically, the mediator and the parties agree on their own informal ways to proceed. The firm has substantial expertise in representing clients in mediation and Mr. Yost is one of the best known and most experienced mediators in New Mexico.
Arbitration is an alternative to resolving disputes in court. The arbitration process allows the parties to select arbitrators with a specialized expertise in the subject matter of the dispute who will consider the evidence and then render a binding decision. In binding arbitration, the parties agree to abide by the decision of the arbitrator(s). In non-binding arbitration, the parties do not agree to be bound by the arbitrator's decision; instead, they use the arbitration process in order to obtain an advisory opinion. In non-binding arbitration, the parties may nevertheless abide by an arbitrator's decision in order to end the dispute without resorting to what can be a lengthy and costly litigation process. Courts usually "stay" or "suspend" court proceedings pending the outcome of the arbitration, and may impose a time period during which the arbitration must be concluded. Many types of contracts include arbitration provisions. Mr. Yost has acted as an arbitrator in a variety of cases.
Collaborative divorce was developed by legal and mental health professionals as an alternative to divorce litigation. In a collaborative divorce, the parties collaborate in an effort to reach an agreement through a series of meetings attended by the parties, their lawyers, and sometimes such other neutral experts such as a child welfare specialist, a collaborative coach, a licensed psychologist or a financial specialist. Each party attempts to identify his or her priorities, goals, needs and interests in these meetings and works with the other party to fashion a settlement that is consistent with these criteria. In a collaborative divorce, the parties make their own decisions based on their own standards. However, the parties should be fully informed about the legal consequences of various options available to them and their attorneys help to facilitate the negotiations. Mr. Yost has represented clients in the collaborative process and has acted as a facilitator in collaborative cases when requested by attorneys and their clients.