Resolute Systems, LLC

Celebrating over 30 years of award winning service, Resolute is one of the nation’s largest Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) providers.

Ranked as the 66th fastest growing private company by Inc Magazine (13th edition) and recognized as the ADR provider of the Year, Resolute maintains a panel of over 2,800 retired judges and attorneys with proven track records for settling cases.

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Arbitration clauses are increasingly common in both commercial and consumer contracts, and some of those clauses now require that the parties mediate before commencing an arbitration.  Such a clause can be beneficial because, while parties all know the advantages of an early settlement, many litigators view an early request for mediation as tantamount to an acknowledgment of the weakness of their position.  A contractual mediation requirement enables early settlement discussions without triggering this real or perceived problem. One problem with such mediation clauses, however, is that they can be difficult to enforce.  The remedy for a violation of such a…
It is critical, at the end of a successful mediation, to secure a binding agreement to the material terms of the settlement, even if the parties intend to later draft a more formal document. This is typically done by having the parties agree to a settlement term sheet. What you want to avoid is creating any delay in making this term sheet binding, because any delay gives a chance for a party to experience buyer’s remorse and try to back out of the deal. Securing agreement to the term sheet at the end of a virtual mediation can be tricky unless the…
In Tellis v. LeBlanc, (W.D. La. 2020), in the course of litigating a motion to strike a jury demand, the defendant cited facts it had learned in a prior unsuccessful mediation about the nature of the plaintiff’s case. The plaintiff moved for sanctions based on defendant’s use of that information because the communications in the mediation were supposed to have been privileged and confidential.  The court agreed that the use of the information was improper, but found no evidence that the defendant had acted in bad faith, and therefore denied the request for sanctions. The court noted that the disclosure was made for…
In Homes v. Navigators Specialty Ins. Co. (E.D. Tex., 2019), the plaintiff filed a complaint, six months later the parties mediated unsuccessfully, and a week later the plaintiff sought to amend the complaint to add new parties.  The court denied the motion to amend in part because the plaintiff delayed seven months before seeking to amend when the plaintiff had all the necessary information at the time the case was first filed. While this holding is fairly straightforward, in its discussion the court noted that had new facts supporting the amended complaint first been learned in the mediation, the amendment might…
In Ill. Tool Works, Inc. v. Ace Specialty Ins. Co., 2019 Ill. App 181945 (1st Div. 2019), the plaintiff received a letter threatening a lawsuit (a copy of a proposed complaint was attached), but inviting the plaintiff to participate in a mediation to resolve the matter. The plaintiff accepted the invitation and the matter settled. The defendant insurer then refused to pay the costs of the mediation because the policy provided that the insurer owed a defense only for “suits.” The court agreed, noting that a mediation, by itself, is not a “suit.” The court further noted that the…
Parties are increasingly including a mediation provision in their contractual arbitration clauses, requiring an aggrieved party to mediate before filing an arbitration. Although one might wonder about the success rate of mediations that take place when a party is forced to do so by contract, any settlements achieved so early in the process result in enormous cost savings. It would seem, therefore, that the downside of a contractual mediation requirement – a wasted day in an unsuccessful mediation – would be outweighed by even the slim chance of being able to settle before litigation is filed. Courts have typically enforced…
Using two mediators, generally referred to as the “co-mediation,” is fairly common in community mediation organizations, but less common in commercial cases. Using two mediators in a commercial case is more likely an option in larger value cases that justify the cost of hiring two mediators, but if all parties can agree to use that approach, it can provide a real boost to the process. There are certain specific uses of co-mediation, such as multi-party cases, where the co-mediators can deal with more than one party at a time, or cases calling for multiple areas of expertise. But the primary…
It is increasingly common for contracts, and in certain cases court orders (divorce decrees, for example), to require mediation before disputants can litigate. In K.S. v. J.S., No. A-4321-17T2 (N.J. App., 2019), a divorce decree required the parties to mediate before bringing an action alleging a breach of the decree. When the defendant demanded that ……
It is not uncommon in a complex case for the parties to reach a settlement during a mediation, reflected in a written, signed, settlement term sheet, but also intend to later draft and sign a more formal and comprehensive document. The law is clear that if the agreement reached during the mediation includes all the “material” ……
In Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. V. G3 Analytics, LLC, No. 18 C 2114 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 28, 2018), Judge Aspen affirmed an arbitration award where the parties’ contract contained the following alternative dispute resolution clause: Any disputes relating to this Agreement . . . will be resolved by alternate dispute resolution. Alternative ……
It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, and definitely ironic, that with the increased use of mediation, people will sue for conduct that occurred during a mediation. One recent example is Doe v. JAMS Inc., (2nd Cir. 2018), in which a partner in a prominent New York law firm sued for discrimination and retaliation and included an allegation ……
In Koehn v. Tobias, 866 F.3d 750 (7th Cir. 2017), the Seventh Circuit upheld the imposition of a monetary sanction against the defendants for conduct in a mediation, even though Defendants prevailed at trial. Here’s what happened: Round One: In a mediation before the Magistrate Judge, Defendants made a final offer of $75,000. Plaintiff rejected ……
The facts are a bit extreme, but the legal principle is quite interesting. While plaintiff and defendant were in the middle of a California-based no-holds-barred legal battle, plaintiff reported defendant to criminal authorities in Oregon, which led to the issuance of an arrest warrant in Oregon. The Oregon police, however, were reluctant to arrest the defendant in ……
A recent ABA task force did a comprehensive review of studies examining whether the following mediation techniques were helpful or harmful: pressing or directive actions or approaches; offering recommendations, suggestions, evaluations, or opinions; eliciting disputants’ suggestions or solutions; addressing disputants’ emotions, relationships, or hostility; working to build rapport and trust, expressing empathy, structuring the agenda, ……