Med-Arb and Arb-Med, as the acronyms indicate, are mixed ADR processes embracing both mediation and arbitration.

In Med-Arb, the process begins with mediation. If the parties do not reach an agreement on all or some of the issues, the case proceeds to arbitration for decision by the arbitrator of those issues that the parties were unable to resolve in mediation. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the desires of the parties, and importantly, certain ethical issues, the mediator may switch hats and continue on as the arbitrator; or alternatively, a different neutral may be selected as the arbitrator.

In Arb-Med, the order of the processes is reversed. The process begins with arbitration but then converts to negotiation or mediation after presentation of the evidence and summary arguments. The parties, with their lawyers if present, retire and attempt to either negotiate or mediate a resolution. While the parties are in session, the arbitrator makes and records a decision. If the parties settle, that concludes the matter, and the arbitrator’s decision is not disclosed. If the parties do not reach a resolution, the arbitrator’s decision is disclosed and becomes final and binding on the parties.

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