Mediation, Arbitration, Collaborative Law, Facilitation and Litigation
Alternative dispute resolution has become Mr. Baum’s specialty, although he remains an active litigator for cases that require courtroom action. With over 29 years of litigation experience, he has become a leader in advancing alternatives to litigation–what is now called "alternative dispute resolution," "appropriate dispute resolution," or simply "ADR."
Mr. Baum offers a full array of alternative dispute resolution methods: mediation, arbitration, collaborative law and facilitation as well as the traditional litigation services. He will work with you so that the most appropriate dispute resolution method is used.
Mr. Baum has the breadth and depth of experience which makes him an effective alternative dispute resolution neutral or fierce advocate for your dispute. Unlike many ADR practitioners, Mr. Baum has practiced in several areas of the law, so that he can bring his varied experiences to the table. As detailed in his biography, he has both a family law and business law background. He brings a business perspective to family law issues and the family law perspective to business disputes.
As a litigator and alternative dispute resolution attorney, Mr. Baum's goal is to help you resolve your dispute in a way that costs you as little as possible in terms of time, money and pain.
Mediation is the simplest and usually least expensive form of alternative dispute resolution. In mediation, usually the parties meet for one or more sessions with Mr. Baum to resolve their issues. Divorce mediation and business mediation have become the most common form of dispute resolution, and the courts rely on mediation to resolve all but the most intractable cases. The parties' attorneys usually are present in business and commercial cases, but less frequently in family cases.
Collaborative law may be a better option than mediation if the parties need attorneys to be present at the negotiations. Collaborative law has a higher cost than mediation and takes more time, but you and the other party remain as decision makers without an arbitrator or a judge stepping in. Collaborative law is new but fast becoming a preferred method to settle divorce and family law disputes; collaborative law dispute resolution is still in its infancy in business and commercial cases.
Arbitration is a very different type of alternative dispute resolution. In arbitration, the parties give up their rights to make the decision: they present their case and the arbitrator decides the issues. If the arbitration is "binding," then Mr. Baum's decision is final and binding on the parties. That decision is enforceable by the courts and generally is non-appealable. If the arbitration is non-binding, then Mr. Baum's decision is merely advisory. If the parties want someone else to decide the case for them in a confidential setting, then arbitration may be the preferred alternative dispute resolution method. In arbitration, you are hiring Mr. Baum to serve as a private judge. But you have substantially more control over the cost, complexity and length of the case than if you rely on the courts.
Binding arbitration or non-binding arbitration is available to resolve any type of business or commercial dispute. In the divorce and family law context, binding arbitration can be used to resolve all property and most financial issues. Non-binding arbitration can be used to resolve custody, access, or child support matters but binding arbitration cannot be used to resolve those issues.
Facilitation may be the most appropriate form of alternative dispute resolution if you have a large, multiparty or public policy dispute. Facilitation is a large group form of mediation that requires special skills.
Litigation means using the court to resolve your dispute. It is usually more time consuming and expensive than any ADR method but sometimes litigation is the only, or best, option. For example, litigation may be the preferable option if one side needs an injunction, if there is a significant power imbalance or abuse or a point needs to be made with a court edict. In that case, Mr. Baum will use his years of litigation experience to represent you aggressively and personally.