When faced with a legal dispute, litigation can prove to be expensive and time-consuming. As a result, clients seeking to avoid costly, public and lengthy court proceedings are using alternative solutions as a more efficient way to settle disputes outside of the courtroom. Archer’s comprehensive services extend far beyond conventional litigation to arbitration, mediation and negotiation of a full range of legal matters.
We provide services throughout all of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Once a client decides to pursue a litigation matter through alternative means, our attorneys evaluate the most appropriate and effective resolution strategies to reach their goals.
Some of the more common alternatives to the traditional litigation process that we use include:
- Arbitration. Arbitration is a simplified version of a trial involving limited discovery and simplified rules of evidence. In arbitration, a dispute is submitted to one or more neutral persons, who review the evidence, hear arguments, take testimony if necessary, and decide the outcome in what is typically a binding decision.
- Mediation. Mediation allows parties to reach their own agreements in ways that are consistent with their interests and concerns and not necessarily dictated by their legal rights. A mediator assists the parties in arriving at their own solution. The parties retain ultimate control over the process and the resolution that may occur. Any negotiation is nonbinding, but a settlement puts an early end to the case.
- Mini-trials. Mini-trials involve a hearing before a neutral third party selected by the parties where attorneys for both sides make a brief presentation of the case. Typically used in commercial disputes, mini-trials allow the parties to retain control over the outcome and provide the opportunity for flexible solutions to a dispute.
At the heart of our ADR practice are our attorneys who bring substantial professional and life experiences to each case, and who make it their goal to deliver innovative, creative and cost-effective solutions. Our ADR practitioners have experience in all aspects of dispute resolution and have handled significant arbitration cases in a wide spectrum of industries and business situations in state and federal courts, both locally and nationwide.
Through the breadth of Archer’s legal services, our ADR attorneys are able to draw upon the firm’s vast network of resources in assisting clients with ADR matters. From minor two-party conflicts to complex corporate and commercial matters, we counsel clients and assist in resolving disputes, including, but not limited to:
- Estate disputes
- Family and matrimonial matters
- Bankruptcies and workouts
- Complex financial issues
- Corporate restructurings
- Intellectual property conflicts
- Contracts and commercial agreements
- Construction claims
- Employment and labor matters
- Real estate conflicts
- Insurance claims
- Personal injury disputes
Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten is a leader in the area of ADR and heads Archer’s ADR practice. With more than 20 years on the bench, Judge Batten’s significant and diverse experience as a trial judge provides clients with a unique judicial perspective.
Judge Batten devotes his entire practice to serving as an arbitrator or mediator in various types of matters and disputes throughout New Jersey. Serving statewide in all 21 New Jersey counties, Judge Batten holds the distinction of not only being on the Approved Roster of Civil Mediators (Rule 1:40) and the Approved Roster of Family Mediators (Rule 1:40), but is an Approved Rule 4:21A Arbitrator, and an Approved Roster Panelist for the American Arbitration Association. He is also a Certified Mediator for the United States District Court, District of New Jersey.
Prior to joining Archer, Judge Batten was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court by Governor Jim Florio in 1992 and was reappointed for tenure in 1999. Twelve of his trial court opinions were published by the Committee on Opinions. Prior to his judgeship, Judge Batten was a former Assemblyman from New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District and a former municipal prosecutor. He is a member of the ADR sections of the New Jersey Bar Association, American Bar Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, and the New Jersey Supreme Court Marie Garibaldi ADR Inn of Court.
Along with Judge Batten, Archer’s ADR practice is represented by Judge Gerald Escala who acts as both an arbitrator and mediator for family and civil matters throughout New Jersey. Judge Escala served as a Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court for 20 years handling family and chancery matters. He served his first 15 years on the bench as Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Bergen County in the Family Part. He was designated Presiding Judge of the Family Part, and shortly after was assigned to the Chancery Division in what was the busiest Chancery venue in the state. Following that, he was designated Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division (General Equity and Probate). He has also served as a Hearing Officer in Election and Disciplinary Matters for Bergen County. Before his appointment to the State bench, Judge Escala was in private law practice and served as a municipal court judge in several municipalities in Bergen County.
Our other attorneys in the firm’s ADR group have extensive litigation experience and routinely and skillfully employ arbitration and mediation services in resolving client claims. They participate in key organizations that structure and administer the dispute resolution processes, which enable them to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of ADR. The group’s collective ADR and litigation capabilities, along with a track record of success, ensure clients receive the full benefit of our many years of experience providing practical and cost-effective solutions.