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Avoiding Litigation – Arbitration and Mediation as Options (The Cooperator)

The Cooperator, June 2017

Avoiding Litigation – Arbitration and Mediation as Options

“Lawsuits are expensive, acrimonious undertakings that can erode both the finances and the morale of building communities, but luckily there are alternatives to knockdown, drag-out litigation. Mediation and arbitration can resolve conflicts without involving courts, and can be a cheaper, friendlier way to restore peace to the microcosm that is a cooperative or condo building. As the New York City Bar’s co-op and condo residential dispute guide suggests, ‘Mediate, don’t litigate!’….Depending on your location, the first step to side-stepping litigation and working through the ADR process is find a reputable source to do the job right. For instance, the New York City Bar Association has a department of well-trained mediators who deal specifically with condominium and co-op complaints….The New York City Bar guide explains the mediation process as ‘a fairly informal, usually voluntary approach to settling disputes instead of going to court or having a co-op or condo board impose a decision. A neutral person – a trained mediator – facilitates negotiations between parties to help them find a mutually acceptable resolution to their issues. Mediation is confidential and non-binding; either party or the mediator may stop the process at any time. If the parties do reach a resolution, a settlement agreement will be signed and is binding on both parties.'”

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