1. Mediation
Mediation is a process designed to bring disputing parties together before a neutral mediator who helps them discuss their differences in a civil manner and who assists them in coming to a resolution of their dispute on their own terms. Mediations are private and confidential and, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing, statements made in a mediation cannot be used in another proceeding. Mediation is non-binding, except that when it results in an agreement, that agreement is reduced to writing and signed by the parties. That agreement then becomes binding just like any other contract.

Mediation is an efficient, cost effective way to resolve disputes and avoid all of the time, costs, ill will and anxieties of litigation. Richard J. Figura has been a SCAO (State Court Administrative Office) trained mediator for more than 10 years, and he provides mediation services for all kinds of disputes, including:

Co-worker disputes
Neighbor vs. neighbor
Citizen vs. government
Contract disputes
Construction disputes
Zoning and land use disputes
Business disputes
Business partner vs. business partner
Property tax disputes
Boundary disputes
Political disputes
Annexation disputes
Real estate disputes
Consumer disputes

2. Facilitation of contract negotiations

Often parties attempt to work out an agreement which will benefit both of them, but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Richard J. Figura provides contract facilitation services to assist such parties in a variety of areas, including:
Purchase agreements
Construction agreements
Partnership agreements

3. Facilitation of public sector agreements

The services of a trained facilitator are especially beneficial in the public sector. In today’s economy, local governmental units are being forced to enter into cooperative agreements to share resources and to prevent costly duplication of services. Under current statutory mandates, such cooperative sharing agreements are necessary for a local governmental unit to maximize its revenue sharing payments from the State. Often, however, such negotiations fail because of long held political jealousies between neighboring jurisdictions and, while the parties initially sit down with each other amicably, long held hostilities take over and the negotiations go nowhere. Richard J. Figura provides contract facilitation services to assist such parties in a variety of areas, including:

Act 425 agreements
Urban Cooperation Act agreements
Joint service agreements
Public policy development
Joint planning agreements
All other municipal service sharing agreements

4. Arbitration

Arbitration is a process in which a neutral third party hears a dispute between two or more parties, receives testimony and other relevant evidence and then renders a decision which is binding. Unlike litigation, arbitration is speedy – usually taking weeks instead of months or years. It is private and confidential , and is far less costly than litigation. An arbitration award is binding and, if necessary, can be enforced by a circuit court in a relatively quick enforcement proceeding. Before commencing an arbitration, the parties sign an agreement to arbitrate (unless their dispute involves a contract which already includes an arbitration provision). The signed arbitration agreement spells out the rules of the arbitration proceeding and the costs. . Richard J. Figura provides arbitration services in a variety of disputes, including:

Employer vs. employee
Neighbor vs. neighbor
Contract disputes
Business disputes
Boundary disputes
Real estate disputes
Consumer disputes