The AltCourt Legal Team
The AltCourt Legal Team

AltCourt Judicial Arbitration Mediation Service Spectrum





AltCourt Judicial Arbitration Mediation Services Spectrum

  • Direct Negotiation
  • Mock Exercises and Consultations
    •  Neutral Evaluation
    • Mock Hearings/Trials
  • Litigation
  • Meditative Process
    • Facilitative Mediation
    • Evaluative Mediation
    • Mini-Trial
    • Non-Binding Arbitration
    • Neutral Expert Fact-Finding
  • Adjudicative Processes
    • Arbitration
    • Court Appointed Services and ADR Options
      • Special Master/Referee/Temporary Judge
        • Discovery
        • Law & Motion
        • Private Bench Trials

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

At ALTCOURT JUDICAIL ARBITRATION MEDIATION SERVICES, clients are assisted by expert, professional neutrals (retired judges and attorneys) who use a full range of dispute resolution processes between direct negotiation and litigation to achieve resolution.

In Direct Negotiation the parties collectively retain complete formal and informal control over the process and its outcome including:

  • the ground rules and the agenda
  • the selection of the neutral
  • the place and timing of the negotiation
  • use of their own negotiation styles and strategies
  • when and how they communicate, listen and convey reactions
  • whether to obtain outside information, comment, or feedback and if so, whether to introduce it
  • the decision to end the process at any time
  • the ability to discuss and agree upon issues and solutions that need not relate directly to the subject matter of the dispute
  • the acceptance of an outcome unless mutually agreed upon



Mock Exercises and Consultations

Neutral Evaluation is a non-binding process in which the parties retain a neutral to provide an evaluation based solely on the merits of the case. The neutral:

  • reviews the factual and legal positions of the parties either through briefs or oral arguments
  • evaluates what the likely jury outcome might be
  • provides his or her view of the likely/fair results
  • is not retained to facilitate the parties negotiations

In Litigation, the parties have minimal control over process or outcome:

  • the court retains ultimate authority, interpreting and applying the rules of civil litigation
  • the court sets discovery deadlines, conference dates and trial dates
  • the neutral decision-maker is determined by the court
  • the rules of trial practice and evidence in the presentation of the case must be followed
  • parties are bound to the facts found and decisions made by judge and jury, subject to limited right of appeal
  • only narrow forms of remedies are available--an award of money damages or limited injunctive relief



In Meditative Processes, a third party neutral works to facilitate a negotiated settlement between the parties. The mediator facilitates the negotiations and evaluates the relative merits of the claims and defenses. The neutral does not have power to impose a solution or decision - the parties retain ultimate control over the outcome. The terms of the agreement are limited only by the interests and creativity of the parties and the neutral. By agreement and permission of the parties, the neutral sets the ground rules and may profoundly affect the order of the proceedings, the parties' collective and individual analyses and the general dynamic of the settlement discussion.

Facilitative Mediation is a process in which outcome control remains almost entirely in the hands of the parties and counsel. The mediator restores communication and helps to create options for resolution by:

  • ensuring that all relevant information is exchanged and heard by the parties or confirms that there is a good reason why it isn't being exchanged
  • providing parties the ability to vent



  • coaching negotiators on next moves
  • helping parties invent settlement options
  • transmitting offers and demands
  • working to overcome potential impasses

Evaluative Mediation occurs when the mediator creates more structure and injects his or her own view or prediction of the trial outcome. It is often used for more difficult cases, where the gap between the parties is large, the issues somewhat complex and the stakes high. The mediator allows the parties to test the reality of their predicted outcomes by:

  • working to thoroughly understand the parties' factual and legal arguments
  • providing feedback on the relative merits of claims and defenses
  • offering his or her prediction of the outcome in court
  • in some circumstances, recommending settlement ranges

Mini-Trial is a highly structured, formalized and evaluative mediation process in which the parties cede a great deal of procedural control in order to reframe the dispute from the context of litigation to the context of a business problem. It requires the participation of non-legal party representatives with settlement authority who sit as a panel with the neutral. The neutral advisor:

  • works closely with the parties before the hearing to facilitate agreement on procedure and resolve disputes
  • oversees the panel of senior business officers
  • moderates the mini-trial hearing and then provides an evaluation if necessary
  • facilitates settlement between the parties after rendering his or her evaluation

Non-Binding Arbitration is a hearing process that looks and feels like arbitration, but is advisory, not binding. The neutral advisor(s):

  • sets up and presides over the process
  • reviews the factual and legal positions of the parties either through briefs or oral arguments
  • evaluates what the likely arbitration outcome might be

Neutral Expert Fact-Finding can be a stand-alone, non-binding process, or it can be part of a larger non-binding process. It is used to help resolve a disputed technical issue. The neutral:

  • finds facts and provides analysis after hearing presentations by the parties, and their experts
  • acts as a substitute for partisan experts
  • can conduct an independent investigation into the technical facts and issues




In Adjudicative Processes, a third party neutral is brought in to hear and consider facts and/or arguments presented by the plaintiff and defendant, and to render a reasoned binding decision or solution based upon an agreed upon standard of legality or fairness. The neutral's role is to issue a solution for the parties, not to help them reach an agreed-upon solution to their dispute.

Arbitration, long used as an alternative to litigation in commercial disputes and labor disputes, offers less formal procedures, abbreviated presentations and the undivided attention of the neutral(s). The arbitrator(s):

  • establishes the ground rules governing an arbitration in the period immediately following the initiation of the arbitration to ensure an expeditious, cost-effective and fair process
  • rules on discovery requests and disputes
  • determines whether to apply rules of evidence and to what degree
  • hears expert witnesses and cross examinations
  • reviews briefs, documents and other exhibits
  • entertains argument by counsel before rendering a decision
  • administers arbitration according to the ALTCOURT JUDICAIL ARBITRATION MEDIATION SERVICES Rules and Procedures for Arbitrations

Bracketed Arbitration ("high-low") occurs when the parties structure an agreement to "bracket" or limit the possible range of outcomes. The parties may agree that the arbitrator:

  • will decide only the issue of liability with predetermined sums to be paid by the defendant or plaintiff accordingly
  • delivers a verdict on liability and damages while agreeing in advance on minimum and maximum payment sums
  • is not told the bracketed range, in effect creating "blind bracketed" arbitration

Additional Arbitration Services:

  • Comprehensive Arbitration
  • Construction Arbitration
  • Employment Arbitration
  • Expedited Procedures
  • International Arbitration
  • Streamlined Arbitration

Court Appointed Special Masters/Discovery Masters are appointed by sitting judges to assist with disputes that are legally or administratively complex. Discovery masters are selected by the parties rather than appointed. The special master or discovery master:




  • assists in designing case settlement options
  • may mediate the cases or groups of cases for mass torts
  • mediates discovery disputes
  • makes rulings on discovery issues that can't be resolved

Mediation Materials

  • Mediation materials should include a cover sheet with the date of the mediation, the case name, and the mediator’s name.
  • Mediation materials should be submitted to the mediator at least three working days before the mediation.
  • ALTCOURT JUDICAIL ARBITRATION MEDIATION SERVICES mediators encourage counsel to exchange their written materials. Confidential information intended for the mediator only may be submitted separately.
  • Mediation materials may be delivered, faxed or emailed to ALTCOURT JUDICAIL ARBITRATION MEDIATION SERVICES. A hard copy of substantial material is requested.
  • If you email your mediation materials, please email to as well as to the mediator. Please indicate if a hard copy is to follow. The staff member who receives the mediation materials will send a response email confirming receipt. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please call 251-444-6174

Mediation Scheduling:

251-444-6174 or email


Attendee Questions/
Special Equipment needs:

Allen Rawls
Client Coordinator
Main Line: 251-444-6174

Billing Questions:

Ken Beard
Legal Billing Specialist
Main Line: 251-444-6174




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AltCourt Legal Team



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