Alternative Dispute Resolution

Parties to a lawsuit often decide to avoid the costly, risky, and time-consuming rigors of court by submitting their dispute to Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) which can provide a quick, efficient and less costly means of resolving claims if done correctly.

We have a retired superior court judge and several senior members of the bar available to utilize their decades of experience in resolving matters through the ADR process:

Judge Mark Epstein (Ret.) is counsel to the firm and spearheads the ADR efforts. Since retiring from the bench in June 2005, Judge Epstein has served as a mediator, arbitrator and special discovery master in complex environmental insurance coverage, substantial personal injury, commercial, construction, probate, employment and matrimonial matters in over 2,500 cases. Selected to the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Panel of Distinguished Neutrals – National Insurance Panel and New Jersey Regional Panel. Selected as Charter Member of New Jersey Chapter – National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Selected to the List of Approved Mediators of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Selected for inclusion in New Jersey Super Lawyers. Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America. Martindale Hubbell peer rating AV Preeminent. Recipient of American Board of Trial Advocates Judicial Achievement Award. Selected as National Law Journal ADR Champion.

Andrew Carlowicz, Jr. has been an attorney at Hoagland Longo since 1983. Beginning in 2008, he added arbitration services to his practice. In 2013 he also began providing mediation services. He has been appointed by the American Arbitration Association to serve as both an arbitrator and a mediator for large track, complex construction cases. He currently is also available to be retained directly as either an arbitrator or a mediator in all types of construction disputes arising out of all types of projects, including commercial, institutional, infrastructure, educational and residential. He has hands on experience with all types of construction contract claims and disputes, including but not limited to, delay, interference, acceleration claims, change order disputes, building defect claims, serious construction site accidents, and construction contract claims. In 2016 Andrew was also accepted to serve on the panel of mediators for New Jersey Superior Court Rule 1:40 mandatory mediation programs. Finally, he was named as one of the “Class of 2017 ADR Champions” by The National Law Journal.

Jessica Mazur is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.  Jessica was appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Family Division in Middlesex County to aid litigants in resolving their cases as an Early Settlement Panelist. She has also been admitted to the roster of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases as a Rule 1:40 Qualified Mediator. Jessica is often called upon by the Court to act as an Intensive Settlement Panelist to settle cases which are scheduled to begin trial. She is also accredited by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators as a professional mediator in divorce and family law matters. In addition, she has acted as an arbitrator in several matrimonial cases, rendering fair and equitable decisions in an efficient and timely manner.

Brian McFadden-DiNicola is a Partner in the firm’s Family Law practice group. He is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. Brian is a Rule 1:40 Qualified Mediator, admitted to the New Jersey Superior Court’s list of mediators for economic mediation in divorce matters, and is regularly chosen to mediate family law matters. He regularly appears as a panelist for the Early Settlement Panel for the Superior Court, Family Division, Middlesex Vicinage. He sits on the Middlesex County Bar Family Practice Committee and is an active member of the Family Law Bar in Middlesex County. He has presented seminars for the Middlesex County Bar and has written on family law issues for both the Middlesex Advocate and The Bencher, a magazine for the American Inns of Court. Brian has qualified experience in a wide range of family law cases he uses to help litigants reach compromises on the unique and complex issues facing them.

ADR Service Areas

Our experienced mediators and arbitrators offer services in a variety of legal matters, including:

  • Personal injury
  • Product liability
  • Construction claims
  • Mesothelioma claims
  • Professional malpractice
  • Employment matters
  • Environmental litigation
  • Insurance coverage cases
  • Complex, multi-layered contract disputes
  • Family law

Mediation

Mediation is essentially a structured negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party. Mediation does not involve issuance of a verdict or award by the neutral third party. Instead the mediator endeavors to facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution between the parties to the dispute.

We believe that an effective mediator must be knowledgeable in the area of dispute, well prepared, and he/she must garner the trust of the parties by, among other things, never violating their confidential communications.

Even if mediation does not resolve the entire dispute, it can often result in settlement of portions of the case, and thus streamline the ensuing arbitration or litigation.

Arbitration

There are times when direct discussions or even mediation cannot result in a resolution of the dispute or claim and the parties remain at an impasse.  Either by contract or direct agreement the parties then can proceed to either court or arbitration.  While there are instances in which going to court is the better route, arbitration is often a superior way to proceed for a variety of reasons.

If an experienced and effective arbitrator is hired, the cost will be lower than proceeding in court. Of course, selecting an arbitrator with significant experience with the type of claim at issue is critical.

While mediation is a flexible process, arbitration can and should be flexible as well.  Among other things, parties can negotiate and agree upon procedures for arbitration that might be somewhat akin to how parties can proceed in court.  Particularly in smaller claims the parties might agree to substantially streamline the process.  In any arbitration it behooves the parties and their respective counsel to agree on the thorough identification of documentary evidence before the hearings even begin, compile them in some orderly fashion, and then provide them to the arbitrator.

A good arbitrator does not “split the baby” when rendering an award. To the contrary, he or she has a singular goal in mind – to get it right.