What does it take to win the “Best of Midwest” reader's survey for best alternative dispute resolution provider?
United States Arbitration and Mediation picked up the National Law Journal's 2018 “Best of Midwest” award as shown in the journal's June issue.
Rob Litz, president of USA&M, spoke with the Record about how his office strives to accommodate the many litigants and parties looking for effective case resolutions.
Rob Litz, president of USA&M | LinkedIn profile
Part of best practices, Litz said, is about basic values like compassion and understanding, and helping people to make their way through an often difficult legal process.
“Sometimes, their lawsuit is the most important thing in their life,” Litz said.
He said USA&M encourages mediators to develop patience and listening skills that help resolve cases. He added that quality is key to resolving thorny legal issues.
“It's about who's on your panel,” he said, adding that mediators at USA&M are exclusive to the agency, meaning that they don’t work at other places.
“What I have found is that lawyers and their law firms have a level of confidence in the quality of our mediation and arbitration services,” Litz said.
That doesn't come easy. Litz said USA&M staff undergo advanced training and look at new trends, statutes and cases that may have an impact on their work.
They also stay involved for the long haul.
“Our mediators are invested in settling cases,” Litz said.
Litz explained that the process may often take many months, and that parties can encounter roadblocks along the way. Other times, he said, a key deposition or some other event actually expedites the case after it has languished for a while.
Some of the processes involve helping plaintiffs and defendants set expectations, where a ruling from some other court can be helpful, according to Litz..
“We made a concerted effort to create a warm and welcoming place,” he said. “It has to be a comfortable environment.”