Cramer & Anderson has a long history of providing clients with the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes, including arbitration and mediation.
In addition to benefiting from advanced training, our ADR Partners have served as court-appointed arbitrators and mediators in a wide range of matters for decades, as well as Special Masters in family law/divorce cases, handling hundreds of arbitrations and mediations.
Mediation provides a productive and generally far less expensive process for resolving a dispute than litigation, as well as providing effective resolutions more quickly.
It is not adjudication of issues and does not involve determining who is right and wrong. Instead, mediation is about problem-solving and establishing common ground to reach an understanding and agreement on solutions that allow all parties to feel satisfied. This is something litigation does not accomplish.
Consider the paradigm of a dispute over an orange, which is simplistic but illustrates how mediation can be beneficial in ways that aren’t always obvious: Two people want an orange, but there is only one available. Both refuse to give it up. Mediation is not simply splitting the orange down the middle but begins with determining why both parties want the orange. It turns out one wants to eat the orange, and the other wants the rind to use for flavoring. The mediator, through constructive inquiry, finds a creative solution that helps satisfy parties who had seemed locked in an irreconcilable situation at the outset.
The benefits of mediation extend to any type of dispute, disagreement, or negotiation, as well as any types and aspects of litigation, or can serve as a pathway toward resolving the issue, or completing a negotiation, in order to avoid the process of litigation before it even begins.
A common example of that might involve someone who feels they were improperly charged an excessive amount by an auto mechanic and refuses to pay for the work. One or both parties may want to litigate that issue, but both parties also surely would like a resolution that avoids going to court, though they are too emotionally involved to effectively resolve the issue on their own.
Matters in which mediation is appropriate include,
but are not limited to, the following:
- Personal injury
- Workers’ compensation
- Property disputes
- Family law/disagreements
- Probate disputes
- Estate matters
- Employment discrimination
- Other types of employer/employee disputes
- Business contracts
- Employment contracts
In effective mediations, the approach of the mediator and his or her success with constructive engagement have primary importance. Our compassionate and committed mediation/ADR attorneys are well versed in the evaluative, facilitative, and transformative styles of mediation, and bring to the process a toolbox that includes:
- Determining clients’ suitability for mediation
- Narrowing the issues to be resolved
- Developing and testing options and proposals
- Efficiently and effectively reaching an agreement
The success of that process is buoyed by our team’s trademark thoughtful diligence. In working with our ADR and mediation clients, we are:
- Understanding and engaged
- Attentive and deeply attuned
- Caring and collaborative
- Realistic but also open and creative
- Passionate and persistent in our advocacy
Those attributes are built on the foundation of our attorneys’ decades of experience across nearly 20 practice areas. Four of our Partners have significant experience and credentials in ADR and mediation (see details below), and our collaborative approach allows them to tap into the firm’s “deep bench” of more than 20 other Partners and attorneys who consult on the specifics of issues across the full range of practice areas.
With trials in civil jury trials still on hold in Connecticut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, greater emphasis has been placed on alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and mediation in particular, as the most effective ways to resolve a broad range of legal issues for plaintiffs, defendants, and families. Even before COVID, Connecticut courts were moving away from trials and toward court-ordered mediation.
Cramer & Anderson Center for Mediation & ADR Attorneys
Partner Christopher Sochacki
Partner Christopher Sochacki, whose practice is centered on helping people who have been wronged or injured, recently completed a 40-hour mediation certificate training program offered by the Quinnipiac University School of Law’s Center on Dispute Resolution. The Center ranks in the top 20 of such graduate programs nationwide. Attorney Sochacki’s practice focuses on personal injury, product liability, construction defects and medical malpractice, along with professional malpractice, workers’ compensation claims, employers’ liability and discrimination, and real estate errors and omissions. Before joining Cramer & Anderson, he spent 17 years as an insurance defense litigator with a national firm, giving him a unique and informed perspective on how the other side works. Attorney Sochacki is based in our Litchfield office and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (860) 567-8718.
Partner Ken Taylor
Divorce & Family Law Partner Ken Taylor was recently certified in divorce mediation through Connecticut Council for Non-Adversarial Divorce. In divorce mediation, a neutral mediator shepherds the parties toward a mutually acceptable outcome without formally representing either side. Attorney Taylor also guides divorcing couples through collaborative divorce, which begins with setting mutual goals and, like mediation, can save families money and emotional scars. Additionally, he has served as a court-appointed Special Master in the Litchfield and Danbury judicial districts for 20 years. Special Masters are very experienced divorce attorneys who function as a neutral party as part of an ADR process in which they work with the parties involved and then present the judge with an opinion on how the case should be resolved. In Connecticut, courts offer the Special Masters process on a pretrial basis, offering an opportunity for a constructive agreement to be reached quickly and economically. Attorney Taylor is based in our New Milford and Ridgefield offices and may be reached by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (860) 355-2631 or (203) 403-4005.
Partner Barry Moller
Partner Barry S. Moller, whose practice focuses primarily on Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury, has studied complex mediation at the peace and reconciliation organization Corrymeela in Northern Ireland. One key to Attorney Moller’s success in achieving the best outcomes is his knowledge of the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission and his relationships with those involved in the administration of claims. He has served on the Chairman’s Legal Advisory Committee to the Workers’ Compensation Commission since 2000, and has served on the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association since 1997. Attorney Moller is based in our New Milford office and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (860) 355-2631.
Partner Randy DiBella
Partner Randy DiBella has long and extensive ADR experience, and has completed nearly 300 arbitrations and mediations on a statewide basis, including many involving uninsured and underinsured motorist cases, as well as complex litigation and civil cases. He works collaboratively with colleagues to extend the benefits of mediation to the type of real-world issues clients need help resolving in an optimal way. His own practice areas also extend from Municipal Law and Civil Litigation to Personal Injury, Land-Use Law, and Appellate Litigation. Attorney DiBella is based in our New Milford office and may be reached by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (860) 355-2631.