Eye expert testimony for cases involving mediation and arbitration can be pivotal for determing the ultimate outcome. Knowing the difference between mediation and arbitration is an important first step in understanding these legal processes.
Arbitration and mediation are similar to the extent that both processes are alternatives to litigation. Both arbitration and mediation utilize a “neutral” third party. Sometimes in the case of arbitration, more than one “neutral” party is chosen. Both arbitration and mediation can be binding, although it is customary to utilize mediation as a non-binding procedure and arbitration as a binding procedures. Eye expert testimony may be helpful in assessing damages related to ocular injury, the visual prognosis, and the degree of long term care that may be needed. Expert testimony may also be helpful when issues involve intellectual property issues that demand testimony on technical issues.
Arbitration and mediation have distinct differences. Arbitrators usually serve in a capacity that is similar to a judge in a civil rial. Arbitrators make decisions about evidence. Often, arbitrators ue formal rules of evidence, although they have great flexibility to determine admissability of evidence. Arbitrators also provide written opinions. Mediation is usually conducted before a “neutral” mediator who does not formally judge the case and come up with a verdict, but rather attempts to facilitate a discussion and a conclusive resolution of the dispute. Mediation brings parties together in a “neutral” environment where the issues may be openly and confidentially presented to a “neutral” third party. The parties of a dispute may listen to each others position, with the goal of coming to a binding written agreement. An eye expert may be helpful in helping the parties understand vision issues involved a dispute. An unbiased assessment by an eye expert may help bring together parties to facilitate a final resolution.
Many business contracts have provisions for dispute resolution that require parties to the agreement to first use mediation as a means to resolve a dispute. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, then the parties may move on to formal litigation through the court system or attempt resolution through arbitration. Arbitration and formal liigation are far more time consuming and expensive than mediation. Many business attorneys recommend inclusion of a mediation provision in any contract.
Eye experts providing testimony for mediation and arbitration need to be aware of the differences between these legal processes. The goal of an eye expert is to provide credible testimony that helps facilitate a satisfactory resolution.