Category Archives: Mediation

How Technology Dispute Mediation in Beverly Hills CA Can Protect Your Company

Technology disputes and other intellectual property disputes have the potential to wreak havoc on a business. These disputes can take years before litigation is concluded, costing the business great time and expense. Furthermore, this situation can keep your client’s technological invention or business in limbo, causing it to lose out on an untold number of opportunities. Rather than litigating a case, you may better serve your clients’ needs through technology dispute mediation in Beverly Hills California. By using technology dispute mediation in Beverly Hills California, you may be able to help protect your clients’ interests and propel them to future growth.

You and the other party’s attorney can offer recommendations on which mediator you should select for your technology dispute mediation. Look for someone with experience in intellectual property law and who has credentials that you can easily validate. Having someone who is somewhat of an expert in this field can make a tremendous difference due to the experience he or she can rely on.

During mediation, the mediator you select will work with the parties to determine possible resolutions of the dispute. This may include an agreement between the parties to purchase technology or to license it. It may also be a start for companies to work together on a new project. The parties are not bound to the limited remedies available in a courtroom, so they can truly work out an agreement that takes all of their interests into consideration. The mediator will facilitate communication and point out aspects of the case that the party has not considered. Although you may have provided your client with similar information, he or she pays for your opinion. A mediator is an objective person who can look at the situation from a different perspective and can provide a candid outlook to the client.

Importance of Using a Commercial Trial Attorney in Ventura California as an Arbitrator

Importance of Using a Commercial Trial Attorney in Ventura California as an Arbitrator

One of the huge advantages of arbitration is the importance of being able to select the decision maker. This option is not available in litigation in which the judge is simply appointed to the case and a jury is randomly selected. Also it is not available through mediation. Although the parties can select the mediator, he or she is not a decision maker. Many commercial disputes are benefited from using an arbitrator who has served as a commercial trial attorney in Ventura California. Whether he or she is experienced as a plaintiff’s or a defense commercial trial attorney in Ventura California, using such a person can add tremendous value to arbitration.

Commercial trial attorneys are more familiar with the types of issues and evidence involved in commercial disputes than other types of arbitrators. Through their own experience, these individuals have learned the complex procedures and case law that supports various positions. They can quickly discern the underlying issues involved in a dispute and save time by not having to go into exhaustive explanations regarding customary business practices.

Juries are often bored with such minutiae, and attorneys risk alienating them by having expert witnesses drone on about various issues involved in the case. Judges may pay attention to such testimony but still not fully comprehend it. However, commercial trial attorneys are more receptive to such information and recognize the strengths and limitations of such expert testimony. They can carefully weigh this evidence against other evidence in the record in order to come up with a fair and equitable solution.

Additionally, commercial trial attorneys tend to be more neutral than jurors. Jurors commonly dislike big businesses, even if the weight of the evidence is soundly on their side. In arbitration, the parties are more likely to receive a fair shake, regardless of their identity.

How a California Disputes Mediator Resolves Cases

Employment disputes can be some of the most contentious because a person’s livelihood is usually involved. A California disputes mediator can help deal with the tensions in these types of cases by tapping into the conflict resolution skills that he or she has developed. The following methods help California disputes mediators resolve cases in a successful manner.

Acknowledge Feelings

Although the legal profession acts as though every issue should be approached from a clearly objective standpoint, this dehumanizes the real world situations of the parties involved. An employment dispute can be a highly emotional experience where the aggrieved employee feels that he or she was harassed, mistreated or terminated because of an invalid reason. It is important that the mediator be able to acknowledge these hard feelings in order to connect with the employee and provide empathy.

Be Creative

One of the most significant benefits of mediation in the employment context is the ability to provide creative solutions to the problems involved. While the parties may see in the litigation sense that damages are the only available remedy, this is not the case in mediation. The parties retain control over the proceedings and only agree to settle their case if they both are satisfied with the result. This means that they can agree to unconventional terms, such as offering a job reassignment to the employee, instituting a new employment plan to prevent similar occurrences in the future or offering to provide a letter of recommendation that the employee has personally prepared for the employer’s signature. These creative options often help resolve contentious employment cases because they address the actual issues of the parties without solely relying on the question of economic damages.

Benefits of Intellectual Property Mediation in Beverly Hills CA

When you are facing an intellectual property case in Beverly Hills CA, one route to consider taking is mediation, or alternative dispute resolution. Mediation involves both parties in a dispute coming to the table with a neutral third party to find a resolution that is agreeable to both parties—all outside of the courtroom.

Mediation, whenever possible, is a great choice in disputes and offers many benefits, including privacy (discussions and work sessions are kept private and not part of court documents) less time involved in court dates, trials and preparation, as well as ease of ending the dispute as amicably as possible outside of a trial.

Trials are expensive. From hourly attorneys billing both parties, depositions, trial materials, expert witnesses and other related court costs add up quickly and take its toll on personal and business finances.

Additionally, potentially lengthy trials demand opportunity costs, which is the value placed on what you could be pursuing if you weren’t embroiled in court case. For business owners, the opportunities to further build and grow their businesses are lost to the time spent in trial. Similarly, individuals in litigation lose out on employment opportunity and time spent with families and friends.

Also important to take into consideration are emotional costs. There are people out in the world who thrive on the drama and sense of conflict inherent with court cases, but the majority of us find it stressful and exhausting. While mediation isn’t a cure all for every case, it can help businesses and individual cut down the financial, opportunistic, and emotional costs of court trials.

How Can Commercial Trial Attorneys Determine Appropriate Cases for Mediation?

California Commercial trial attorneys are trained to identify the potential outcomes of cases before they follow through with a plan of action to save time and money for their client. Mediation is one method that can be made to avoid the uncertainties of having a judge or jury decide the dispute. The uncertainties are avoided and the range of options expanded if the parties themselves can reach a resolution with having a judge or jury decide the matter. The uncertainty of a judge or jury deciding a case is compounded by two factors:

#1 Witnesses

While depositions can minimize some uncertainty, it is almost impossible to predict everything a witness will say or how a witness will be perceived by a jury. A witness may lose credibility with the jury or may testify in a manner that is unexpected and unfavorable.

#2 Evidence

The evidence presented by witnesses and by documents is critical to the case. Once again, it is the jury that must evaluate the evidence and decide which side should win. Rarely is evidence so clear that it points to a result with certainty. So the jury or judge will have to weigh that evidence in reaching a decision.

Whether it’s the evidence or the witnesses, by going to trial the parties give up control to third parties who will decide the case without knowing everything that is important to the parties. This uncertainty is avoided when parties agree to resolve the matter though mediation.

How Can Mediation Save California Intellectual Property Attorneys and Clients Time?

Mediation is the best option for trial cases, as it saves California intellectual property attorneys and clients’ time, money and uncertainty. As an attorney, being able to flag cases with potential for resolution through mediation can save you time and energy. The mediator’s job is to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Mediation can save time and uncertainty by avoiding going to court. It takes a simple few phone calls and/or emails to contact all parties and their lawyers to select a mediator and to schedule mediation. The location should be at neutral site to avoid any implications of bias or favoritism. There is also a memo included that involves a synopsis of the case and all supportive evidence and witnesses for the mediator to examine and help the parties consider options.

Keeping your client from going through the aggravation of court can be beneficial not just for them but for you, too. All too often, some clients don’t realize the amount of work and time required to prepare case for trial, or how long it can take to present their case in the court system. Being upfront about the potential for resolving the case outside of court can allow all persons involve avoid the challenges and uncertainties associated with litigation.

Mediation can also save all parties a good amount of money. An intellectual property attorney should work to help clients resolve the dispute in as a short timeframe as possible which incidentally is usually the least expensive way as well.

Most Common Issues Causing Mediated Patent Disputes

Patents are used to protect inventions from being used, sold, or made by others for a given amount of time. Three types of patents in the US are:

  • Design Patents: protects the appearance of a manufactured object
  • Plant Patents: protects asexually reproduced plant varieties, including hybrids
  • Utility Patents: protects technology, machines, and chemicals; inventions with specific functions

Clients should not assume that their creation(s) are patented automatically. Individuals must apply for a patent and get approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This process is time consuming and complex. It’s best to hire a patent attorney to ensure that all the paperwork is turned in appropriately and they are approved so they can protect their invention and make profit.

One issue that causes patent disputes is ownership. Who owns the patent or invention? A business may believe that they have rights to an invention, but they could be reading the wrong small print. It is essential that the business observe the laws that govern inventions and the patent protection for inventions to determine if the business owns the rights to an invention or not. This issue can be resolved if the parties involved agree in writing regarding ownership of inventions created on company time or with company resources.

Common ownership issues arise with relationships between:

  • Co-inventors
    • Usually personal relationships
    • Identify and manage who made inventive contributions before settling on a patent application
  • Independent contractors
    • May be collaborative, but most often not
  • Should specifically list ownership rights to intellectual property between the independent contractor and hiring company in the written agreement between the parties
  • Employer-Employee
    • If the employer is a nature person rather than a corporation, the employer may have made sufficient contribution to the conception and reductions to practice to be considered an inventor with ownership rights. Otherwise, the employer will become the owner only by contract with the inventor(s) assigning the rights to the invention to the employer.
    • Apart from a contract of assignment, the employee/inventor will own the rights to an invention. Nevertheless, the employer may still have rights to use the invention under an implied license if the inventor use company resources or invented on company time.
  • An employer in California is prohibited under state law from requiring an employee to assign inventions to the employer that are unrelated to the employees work and that was made on the employee’s own time and using only the employee’s own resources.

Mediation can help manage these disputes, and you may wish to recommend this course of action to your clients.

The Importance of Active Listening Skills in a California Mediator

California mediators in commercial disputes focus their interest on aiding the lawyers and specifically the clients they imbue while in their field of study. Listening skills are important for any individual in this position.

Active listening requires a listener to provide immediate feedback on what he or she hears to the speaker, by way of either paraphrasing or repeating what they have said in the response they provide. The ultimate goal of active listening is to make sure the listener heard what the speaker spoke and has processed both views – speaker and listener. It shows respect and sincerity and often reduces misunderstandings, improves personal relationships, and strengthens cooperation.

This skill is of utmost importance in mediation. The facilitator must consider both parties judgment and decisions and help to formulate a mutual agreement that will resolve the case. They must gain the trust of both parties to make the environment more relaxed so they will trust in his or her judgment and produce a settlement that is acceptable by both parties as well.

Communication between the clients and their attorneys is essential to show that the mediator and their company are competent enough to handle the dispute in a professional and timely manner.

Active listening will reduce misunderstandings. It will also improve the relationship between the mediators, the clients and relevant attorneys by showing them that the mediator is helpful and trustworthy. With the cooperation of both parties in evaluating how the case will conclude and what charges may incur if the case is prolonged, the mediation will come to an agreeable settlement.

Mediating Domain Name Disputes in California

Although the Internet and its associated technologies may at first seem complex, particularly to a non-technical person, many aspects of the internet have been simplified and abstracted to the point where they are quite easy. For example, domain registration requires only that you have a name in mind and a way to make the modest payment. For a very small sum of money, you can lay claim to some virtual Internet real estate, and this means that inevitably domain name disputes in California are very common.

Basis for Dispute

Sometimes domain name disputes in California are honest disputes: Two companies or individuals with similar ideas, or disparate reasons to desire the same URL. Sometimes, however, domain names are registered in bad faith, with the intention of holding the URL hostage for a large sum of money (cybersquatting). Since domain names can be registered for very small sums of money, it can be very profitable.

Solutions

There are three ways of handling domain name disputes in California:

  1. Negotiation. If the dispute is an honest one, it is possible the other party will be amenable to selling the domain name for a fair price or other arrangement.
  2. Litigation or complaint to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), often a slow-moving and expensive choice that does not provide an efficient solution.
  3. Mediation. Mediation in domain disputes, when conducted by a knowledgeable professional familiar with the law, the policies and procedures of ICANN, and the technical aspects, can be very effective in cases of both legitimate dispute and so-called “cybersquatting.”

A domain name is a crucial aspect of a business’s marketing and online branding, and as such it is crucial that disputes over domain names be handled correctly, applying the most effective strategy.