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Arbitration & Mediation

Resolving disputes efficiently and favorably is always a top priority. Although achieving these results often requires litigation in state or federal court, including, when necessary, a jury trial, mediation and arbitration provide alternative processes that can sometimes be faster and less expensive than full-scale litigation.

In mediation, the parties attempt to negotiate a settlement of their dispute by exchanging information and their positions through a mediator, who is most commonly a judge or experienced attorney. Arbitration is very similar to litigation and trial without the formality and strict application of the rules and procedures that are customary in the courts. Mediation is purely voluntary, while arbitration can be voluntary or mandated by previous agreement or by law. Arbitration is ordinarily binding.

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn regularly represents clients in both arbitration and mediation, and several Miller Nash Graham & Dunn attorneys help resolve other parties' disputes by serving as arbitrators and mediators. The breadth of our arbitration experience encompasses commercial and industry-specific arbitrations, such as before arbitration panels constituted under the auspices of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, international arbitrations, and independent arbitrations arranged by agreement of the parties.

Representative Experience

Represented the claimant in an arbitration proceeding involving claims arising out of a contract to build and supply large cranes for Coast Guard vessels. The case was arbitrated in Wisconsin and resulted in an award exceeding $1.4 million for the client, which was the bulk of its claims.
Defended employer in NASD arbitration case alleging employment-related disability discrimination. Favorably settled claims before hearing.
Represented defendant in NASD arbitration alleging adviser misconduct. Obtained favorable arbitration award, including expungement of the arbitration claim from the NASD’s records for individually named respondents.
Defended LP in AAA arbitration involving ERISA claims by several executives asserting that income from exercise of stock options should be included in formula for retirement benefits. Obtained arbitration award against three claimants in AAA arbitration; prevailed in Fourth Circuit appeal in a fourth; others settled.
Successful defense of federal court action to recognize and enforce arbitral award rendered by a provincial Chinese arbitration institution. Foreign arbitration awards are enforceable in the United States under the New York Convention and their enforceability is difficult to challenge. Defended on the basis of lack of due process because all communications from the arbitral proceeding were in Mandarin, a language that the client did not know. This was a very significant decision nationally and internationally.