Being in a dispute can be frustrating, especially since there are so many things to consider. Progressive steps through the process can help!

1. Identify the parties: who needs to be involved?
2. Define the issues to be resolved.
3. Get commitment from the other side to resolve items respectfully & positively.
4. Mutually agree on a process (negotiation, mediation, arbitration).
5. Select a neutral professional.
6. Develop mutual guidelines that will provide a solid foundation for the process.

All of these steps can be challenging to a disputant in unfamiliar territory. One of the services of MAAOC is to help you move towards a resolution. This may mean contacting the other party and considering the options in order to design a process that will work for all of the parties involved. In mediations, one of the Associates may do the initial work, and with the consent of the parties, continue to hold the mediation meetings. For arbitrations, it is sometimes preferable in more complex cases to have the preliminary work done by an administrator (another MAAOC Associate), to allow the arbitrator to remain uninformed and neutral about the content and submissions of the parties.

To get started, call MAAOC or one of the Associates directly. After a short conversation, the ADR Associate will provide guidance on what will be needed to effectively proceed. Fees and expectations of the parties are discussed. Preliminary matters may be done for a fixed fee – typically $300-$500, depending on the work needed.

Arbitrators and mediators usually charge an hourly fee for the time required. Fees for MAAOC associates typically range from $125 to $300/hour depending on the time, nature and complexity of the issues to be resolved. Travel and GST are in addition. Costs are usually split between the parties and payable as the work proceeds. Time includes any necessary preparation, such as reviewing documents, travel, meeting sessions, and preparing agreements or decisions that arise from the mediation or arbitration.

Taking the first step towards resolution is often the most difficult part in a dispute. Contacting an MAAOC professional will help make that journey a smooth one.