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Finding a Path Forward Through Alternative Dispute Resolution in California

Representing clients in arbitrations and mediations in the Los Angeles region

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provides the opportunity for individuals and businesses to handle a dispute without the expense, time and difficulty of litigation. Mediation and arbitration allow a neutral party to guide the adversaries to a resolution without a court battle. At the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger, we believe that most cases are appropriate for ADR. In fact, Michael Jay Berger, our firm’s founding attorney, has successfully settled many cases that others said could not be settled, and we are confident that we can do the same for you.

What are the most common types of alternative dispute resolution?

The facts of your case determine the best way to proceed. The most common methods of alternative dispute resolution follow:

  • Negotiation. The parties involved in the dispute communicate directly and try to reach an agreement.
  • Mediation. A neutral mediator helps the parties work out their differences and guides the discussion and negotiation.
  • Arbitration. A neutral arbitrator or arbitration panel reviews each side’s presentations, arguments, evidence and testimony.
  • Neutral evaluation. The parties present the dispute to a neutral party for evaluation.

Negotiation, mediation and neutral evaluation are usually nonbinding, so if the parties do not reach agreement, they can pursue other options or go to court. Arbitration is usually binding on the parties and has the same effect as a court judgment, including options for enforcement and collection.

What are some of the benefits of choosing ADR instead of the courtroom?

In California, there are numerous benefits to selecting ADR over litigation. California courts, like federal and state courts throughout the United States, are overburdened with litigants and often lack the judges needed to manage an ever-expanding caseload. At the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger, we represent clients who prefer ADR for the following reasons:

  • It is a cost-effective way to reach a settlement.
  • It allows the dispute to remain confidential.
  • It may preserve family and business relationships.
  • It saves time and money.
  • It usually resolves conflicts faster than could be accomplished in court.
  • It reduces stress and may provide a more satisfactory result for the parties.

Let us lead the way through ADR for your dispute in California

With years of experience in the courtroom and with alternative dispute resolution, Michael Jay Berger is prepared to represent you in any form of ADR. Located in the heart of downtown Beverly Hills, our firm assists with mediation, negotiation, arbitration and other dispute resolution methods for clients throughout the region. Call the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger at 310-271-6223 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


Having an intelligent, experienced attorney represent you in fee arbitrations is crucial to whether you win or lose. A recent example of this is the Fee arbitration that I handled before the Committee on Arbitration of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Attorney-Client Mediation and Arbitration Services, Case No. M-263-16-JB. I represented Theodore Horwith in a fee dispute with his former Attorney Geoffrey Sindon. The arbitration took place on July 21, 2017 and the three arbitrators rendered a unanimous decision in favor of my client on August 14, 2017. My client had already paid Geoffrey Sindon $211,000.00. Mr. Sindon was seeking an additional $222,855.48 from Mr. Horwith. I showed how Mr. Sindon breached his own fee agreement, failed to keep contemporaneous time records and failed to send monthly bills. I questioned the value of the services that he provided, and the Arbitrators agreed with me on all points awarding Mr. Sindon nothing and ordering him to pay my client $2,500.00 of the filing fee. Prior to hiring me to represent him, my client had offered to pay Mr. Sindon an additional $45,000.00. My client was thrilled and grateful to completely win his fee arbitration with my help. Click here to see the entire decision.

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