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Federal Arbitration Act Can Work in Conjunction with Mediation

Wednesday, September, 7, 2011

The Federal Arbitration Act, like the name of the law suggests, is most often regarded as a statute that governs only the process of arbitration.  However, in some cases this law can also become a player when parties in dispute have elected to go to mediation instead.  This is most common when the mediation in question is a complex one requiring a blending of mediation and arbitration processes.


Federal Arbitration Act Enforceability


It is a good idea when using a mediation attorney to clearly spell out his or her powers in a written agreement.  In order for the Federal Arbitration Act to play any role in the mediation, this written agreement should also specify that for those issues that are not resolved by means of the mediation process, the mediation attorney will form a de-facto arbitration panel.  This will allow the mediation attorney to resolve issues that the parties themselves fail to reach agreement on. 


The written document should also specify that the mediation attorney's final decision on such matters will be treated in law as an arbitration award and will be eligible for enforcement under the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act.


With these provisions in place, the parties in dispute know that they will be using elements of both mediation and arbitration.  One such use of this technique might be for matters requiring bankruptcy arbitration.