Alternative Dispute Resolution
Lawyers at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. have deep experience in every aspect of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), as advocates for clients and as highly experienced neutral mediators and arbitrators. With the continuing growth in the use of ADR to resolve complex disputes in every legal field and in light of court rules mandating that parties consider ADR at an appropriate time in virtually every case, Beveridge & Diamond lawyers routinely and skillfully employ the full range of ADR techniques. We provide clients with practical and proven advice on how to best use ADR to resolve even the most complex problems, and to take account of both the possibilities and limitations of particular forms of ADR in the context of a particular dispute. When ADR is utilized – whether through mediation or early neutral evaluation or through more traditional (and more adversarial) practices such as binding arbitration – we are able to manage effectively our clients’ litigation dockets, reduce litigation costs, and procure outcomes that could never be achieved through resolution by courts or juries. The Practice Group is chaired by Harold Himmelman who, in addition to his role as counsel to Firm clients, is an experienced mediator and arbitrator.
Beveridge & Diamond attorneys have extensive experience in all aspects of the mediation process. As advocates, we use mediation to resolve some of our clients’ most complicated and high-profile matters. From the selection of third party neutrals and preparation of mediation papers, to structuring the mediation and advocating during confidential mediation sessions, lawyers at Beveridge & Diamond capably guide the mediation process in their clients’ best interests. We seek to maximize the benefits of mediation – greater control and flexibility than traditional litigation – by working with selected neutrals to institute mediation procedures that will lead to quicker and better results for our clients.
Beveridge & Diamond attorneys also have extensive experience and a track record of success in both binding and non-binding arbitration proceedings, which are generally more informal, quicker, and less expensive than a lawsuit. We have deftly guided clients in all stages of arbitration proceedings – from assembling the “panel of arbitrators” to handling all phases of discovery, evidentiary hearings, briefing, and argument. In addition to serving as advocates for our clients, several of our most experienced lawyers serve as arbitrators through private ADR services. With these perspectives, our attorneys have been able to increase the speed, accuracy and fairness of outcomes to the advantage of our clients.
We have been deeply involved in arbitration proceedings in a range of commercial and environmental disputes. In particular, the Firm serves as lead counsel in numerous arbitrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”), which requires binding arbitration to govern the obligations of generic competitors of our clients to pay compensation when the generics register agricultural crop protection products by exercising their right under the law to rely upon the proprietary data originally developed by our clients. We have obtained a number of multi-million dollar awards for our clients after steering them through discovery, pre-hearing motions, hotly contested evidentiary hearings, and extensive post-trial briefs and oral arguments before panels of arbitrators. After securing sizeable judgments, we have successfully defended them against collateral attacks in the courts, establishing important precedent in this area.
Some noteworthy engagements and accomplishments as advocates and neutrals in mediation include:
- We helped create the ADR procedures implemented at many Superfund sites, where the division of liability is often performed through a neutral mediator or allocator; we have used those procedures to resolve disputes over large sums for clients that would have otherwise had to engage in expensive and risky cost recovery and contribution litigation involving scores of parties.
- We settled through mediation a toxic tort case brought against a real estate company for alleged lead-based paint poisoning for a small fraction of the claimed damages.
- We resolved through mediation and before the commencement of discovery a number of property damage claims and cross-claims arising from alleged underground storage tank contamination on behalf of a real estate developer client.
- We successfully resolved through mediation a highly contentious dispute involving the obligations under federal law of a generic pesticide company to pay compensation to our client, the company that developed the original scientific database to support the registration of a key pesticide product.
- We have negotiated abbreviated dispute resolution processes, such as a recent non-binding mini-trial procedure in a products liability case that averted multiple filings in state courts.
- We have effectively used mediation in numerous toxic tort cases arising out of environmental activities.
- As neutrals, lawyers in the Firm have mediated cases such as:
- A successful one-day mediation allocating $40 million in Superfund cleanup costs, occurring on the eve of trial after several months of pre-trial;
- Complex litigation matters including CERCLA, contaminated property, hazardous waste, toxic tort claims, and nuclear fuel;
- Fraud and false claims disputes involving the federal government, whistleblowers, and private parties in the areas of defense contracts, security services, software and related services, Medicare, and supply contracts;
- Disputes involving breach of contract and ancillary legal theories arising out of mergers and acquisitions; multi-facility hospital system; business partnerships; real estate partnerships; service contracts; international energy supply arrangements; nuclear decontamination; bank services; and surety contracts;
- Pharmaceutical license agreements;
- Auto and food franchise matters; acquisition and sale of television stations;
- Regulatory matters involving environmental compliance, USDOT regulations applicable to airlines, Medicare reimbursement, and energy research facilities;
- Legal malpractice claims;
- Executive employment; whistleblower; age, sex, and gender disputes; housing discrimination; and Privacy Act claims.
Similarly, we have managed arbitrations for clients in a wider array of fields. Some noteworthy examples include:
- We secured a favorable arbitration decision for a municipal client against claims from a private developer of a proposed waste-to-ethanol facility. The developer sought damages in excess of $300 million under a number of contract, tort, and constitutional claims, all of which we successfully defended during an extensive discovery period and evidentiary hearing. We even compelled the developer to reimburse our client municipality for its arbitration fees.
- We helped create a novel ADR process to resolve a dispute with the federal government over responsibility for a $100 million cleanup, which included a mini-trial before two scientific neutrals who rendered an opinion on the potential source of contamination at the site.
- We have been lead counsel in many formal arbitrations involving National Park Service concession contracts.
- We have tried construction arbitration matters involving allegations of defective design, delay and lost profits.
- As neutrals, some of our senior lawyers have served on and chaired arbitration panels that have resolved complex disputes in such fields as commercial breach of contract; international energy and medical supply disputes; telecommunications; law firm dissolution; copyright royalty; real estate partnerships, estate disputes; parent/subsidiary disputes involving a major U.S. hospital system, and similar matters.