Commercial/Business Mediation

In brief, mediation is a voluntary process in which all sides in a dispute discuss their disagreements with a specially trained neutral person, the mediator.  The mediator seeks to promote an open, candid atmosphere in which the parties freely their grievances and express their needs, desires and preferences.  You can read more about mediation here.

The mediator seeks to have the parties articulate, in detail, what a successful resolution of the problems would look like.  (Often, the parties come to realize these things for the first time in mediation.)  The mediator facilitates the parties’ deeper understanding of what is really at stake, both for themselves and for the other parties.  Mediation helps the parties search for, prioritize and achieve mutually beneficial solutions.  In a successful mediation, the parties agree to an outcome.  It is never imposed by the mediator; in the best cases, the mediator simply makes it possible for the parties to think of the resolutions themselves.  There is never a settlement in mediation unless each party feels the result is in that party’s own best interest.

To learn more about mediation generally and how it differs from other forms of dispute resolution, please click here.

Mr. Newman’s long experience as a business litigator and divorce lawyer  led him to realize long ago that the fight is rarely in the client’s best interest.  Far more often, litigation traps a business person in yesterday’s bad news.  It tends to distract from running the business for today and from doing the deals for tomorrow.  Bringing to bear his considerable strategic and tactical skills inside and outside the courtroom is fun for Mr. Newman.  However, for the client, litigation can be expensive and drain attention from the company’s important, forward-looking, work.

Thus, Mr. Newman has expanded his focus to include mediation of commercial and other disputes.  He can be the lawyer-advocate for a party (or a group of allied parties) in mediation, or he can act as the neutral mediator, rendering service to all the parties.

When acting as a commercial mediator, Mr. Newman assures that not only the outcome, but also the process itself, happens only by agreement among the parties.  Mr. Newman is a mediator for the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court for New York County.  (Manhattan’s Commercial Division is one of the busiest and most respected business courts in the country.)  To get a sense of what happens at his business mediations, click here to read an overview of how Chuck normally handles a Commercial Division case.

The structure of mediation allows some things to happen that most people are surprised about at first.  People have the chance to speak openly and directly to their opposite number.  Each party can express how they think the dispute arose, how the dispute has affected him or her and the company, and what solutions would bring them the most benefit.  The business people have a chance to “brainstorm” resolution ideas cooperatively instead of contentiously.  They have a chance to step through various ideas and options together to see how each would work for bothbusinesses.  Mediation can often “expand the pie,” so that parties actually do reach authentic win-win solutions at a fraction of the cost of litigation.

When some people hear about mediation, it sounds too good to be true.  How does mediation manage to do all that?  You have to try it with a skilled mediator to see it in action.  Very often, mediation resolves disputes extraordinarily quickly, inexpensively, creatively, and well.  If you would like to learn more about how Mr. Newman mediates or to discuss whether your dispute is a likely candidate for mediation, please give us a call at (212) 332-3321, or click here.