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Arbitration, Mediation and Special Master

New Jersey Alternative Dispute Resolution

The firm has an active practice in the area of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which enables us to provide individuals and businesses alternatives to formal and expensive litigation.

Expertise On Both Sides Of The Bench

At Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, our alternative dispute resolution group is headed by William Wertheimer, who joined the firm in 2012 after serving into his 28th year as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge after reaching mandatory retirement. Mr. Wertheimer’s experience as a judge and his ability to resolve complex disputes with objective expertise make him an outstanding mediator and arbitrator. Thus, he frequently serves as a mediator in matters related to class actions, patient-insurance coverage, legal and medical malpractice, contracts, personal injury, and employment. Mr. Wertheimer is also often appointed as a special master, monitor, and special fiscal agent as well as an arbitrator in a variety of other disputes.

Whenever possible, individuals and entities are encouraged to consider using alternative dispute resolution processes to resolve disagreements. These options are often faster and more affordable than trial court and they offer the parties more control over the outcome. There are several types of processes that parties may consider to resolve disputes.

Arbitration/Dispute Resolution

Arbitration is a private process that takes place outside the courtroom. Opposing parties come together to offer evidence and arguments regarding the issues surrounding the dispute. This is a voluntary process to which both parties must agree, and it’s different from mediation because the arbitrator has the authority to make a decision about the matter. It’s similar to a trial but often much more streamlined and less formal. An arbitrator must have the ability to be neutral, discern the facts of a case, and thoughtfully apply the law and objective reason to develop a practical solution. Arbitration may be binding, which means the decision is final and enforceable. In non-binding arbitration, on the other hand, the arbitrator’s award is only advisory and must be accepted by both parties to be enforceable.

Mediation/Settlement Facilitation

In mediation, a skilled, neutral facilitator hears the facts and arguments from both sides of a dispute and attempts to help the opposing parties come to a resolution or settlement. Similar to arbitration, it’s a private process that takes place away from the courtroom. In fact, some judges mandate that certain cases go through mediation before appearing in court. However, the process is still considered voluntary as neither side is required to come to an agreement. During mediation, both sides share their thoughts, feelings, and positions, and goals for the resolution of the dispute. At Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, we have several highly trained, deeply experienced attorneys on staff who are court-trained and approved mediators. While our attorneys cannot make decisions as mediators, they are very skilled at understanding and accessing the issues and providing expert advice. Ultimately, our team is able to help many parties resolve disagreements on their own without the need to undergo an expensive and time-consuming trial.

Special Masters

There are a variety of special-master roles within the court system, some of which include discovery master (who manages and monitors the process of discovery), monitor (who are appointed to implement court orders or settlement agreements), and settlement master (used to settle large-scale disputes). Appointed by the court to address matters involving complex litigation, special masters help to reduce administrative burden, act as mediators, and streamline the court process. They can often help to facilitate resolution more quickly, manage the massive amounts of information that’s now stored electronically, and assist in coordinating cases involving multiple parties, jurisdictions, and/or districts.

The widespread use of special masters is relatively new; there has been tremendous growth in the practice of using special masters in the last ten years or so. Not only are cases often resolved more quickly and with less court involvement, but in some cases, special masters can help to reduce court costs as well as reduce the costs to parties and attorneys.

New Jersey Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys

Our alternative dispute resolution attorneys will walk you through the low conflict options and resolution methods available to you. Let us work for you, contact Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski today to get started immediately.

Attorneys You May Be Working With

William L’E. Wertheimer

Of Counsel

Mr. Wertheimer came to Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski in 2012 after serving into his 28th year as a superior court judge and...

Vincent Le Blon, J.S.C. (ret.)

Of Counsel

Judge Le Blon joined Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski in April 2022 after serving 25 years as a Judge of the Superior Court of...

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