When people are seeking out alternative dispute resolution services in the United States, many will look straight to NAM: National Arbitration and Mediation. NAM has regularly been recognized as the leading alternative dispute resolution provider in the United States has provided exceptional service for almost 30 years. The services provided by NAM and the practice areas covered make them a wise choice for almost any dispute that could arise. NAM provides its clients with a renowned roster of experienced neutrals who are prepared to take on these cases and handle the complex matters that may arise throughout the process. The organization provides top-tier service to every client, which consistently places them among the top providers nationwide. By examining the history and services offered by NAM, this article seeks to highlight the reasons that NAM is set apart.
About National Arbitration and Mediation:
National Arbitration and Mediation, known as NAM, was founded in 1992 by Roy Israel, a leading and experienced neutral. Israel currently serves as NAM’s President and CEO and continues to win awards for being one of the best neutrals in the country. NAM is headquartered in Garden City, New York, but its influence reaches across the country, and people from all over turn to NAM to help resolve their disputes. NAM works with over 10,000 companies and other commercial entities, including over half of the Fortune 100 companies. The organization provides cost-effective alternatives to litigation, which is often time-consuming and expensive, especially in the complex areas that NAM focuses on with its clientele. NAM prides itself on providing fair, transparent, and integrative dispute resolution, with no one client or entity contributing to more than 2% of the organization’s revenue for the year.
For the last eight years, NAM has been consistently named a Top ADR Firm in the United States by the National Law Journal Best of Survey. In 2019, NAM was rated the #1 National ADR Provider by the 2019 Corporate Counsel Best of Survey, which was the second year in a row the organization claimed this title. Many of NAM’s neutrals are named to the National Law Journal’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Champions, including seven neutrals in 2018, the last year the rankings were published. These were seven of 46 professionals chosen nationwide. The firm also regularly receives rewards for the resources that it provides to the alternative dispute resolution community at large through their CLEs and other training that they provide. These awards are only a fraction of the recognition that NAM receives for their service within the alternative dispute resolution community, consistently placing them at the top of their field. The firm is recognized repeatedly for its superb customer service and exceptional panel of arbitrators and mediators.
NAM views its success as a two-pronged focus on the aspects of ADR that set them apart. These two prongs are a renowned roster and exceptional case management. By focusing on these prongs, NAM has continuously supported its clients and secured excellent results in their process. Exploring these pillars of NAM’s service further illustrates the care and time that NAM invests in each dispute.
- Renowned Roster: Alternative dispute resolution services are the bread and butter of what NAM provides, and the list of neutrals that support these services is what drives the success of these services. By investing in their neutrals, NAM has created a roster full of individuals with exceptional credentials and outstanding reputations. NAM’s list includes more than 2,600 professionals, including former judges and specialists. These neutrals provide knowledgeable and fair expertise to all the varying services offered throughout the practice areas.
- Exceptional Case Administration: In addition to providing services through their renowned roster, NAM also provides an administrative team that is committed to the goals of the organization and the needs of the customers. Much of the staff has been employed with the company for more than 10 years, and the administrators understand the complexities and necessities of choosing the correct neutral for the position. Additionally, NAM values customer feedback and uses this to help them hone and focus their skills.
By creating a culture that focuses on these ideas, NAM has ensured that its services will be creating solutions for years to come.
The bulk of what NAM does is found in the services that it provides to clients. By receiving feedback from clients over the nearly 30 years that NAM has been in business, the firm has been able to identify holes in its services and implement new options to continue to place itself at the top of its field. The services currently provided by NAM include:
Arbitration is a process where a neutral or panel of neutrals hear the evidence presented in a case and issue a decision, called an award. This process is popular in dispute resolution because it guarantees a solution and can be cheaper and quicker than litigation. However, it also has its critics. At NAM, the parties have three options for arbitration:
- Open: This is the standard arbitration process, where the parties will present their case and the neutral will issue an award.
- High-Low: In high-low arbitration, the parties create a range that the arbitrator must fall within when they issue their decision. The parties do this by agreeing on a high and low parameter.
- Baseball: This type of arbitration is the most restrictive for the arbitrator, because both parties will submit their proposition and why it should be chosen, and the arbitrator will need to choose one of the two options.
In addition to these types of arbitration, NAM also allows parties to agree that they can participate in an appeals process. The parties that choose this appeal process submit the award and the evidence to a panel of arbitrators that review the case and issue an amended decision. This helps give peace of mind to the many critics of the process because of the finality of the first decision.
Mediation is an organized and formal negotiation led by a neutral called a mediator. The mediator will guide the parties through the negotiation process and help the parties reach a mutually agreeable agreement. The mediator is skilled at helping the parties see the areas that they can work together on and can help navigate the tricky conversations and issues that are trapping the parties in their dispute. They can keep the parties focused on the result of their case but allow the parties the flexibility to know that they are not bound by the process and can choose another form of dispute resolution at any time. The process allows the parties the chance to focus solely on resolution and provides a realistic look at how their case would fare if they were facing their opponent in arbitration or court. Usually, if the parties are not able to reach an agreement, they will move on to other alternative dispute resolution services or litigation.
While many parties may not be committing to a full alternative dispute resolution process, they may be interested in some of the services that may aid their independent negotiating or their litigative policies. NAM provides the following services to help parties resolve their disputes:
- Custom ADR Strategies: Large companies often need to develop a strategy for how they will handle disputes that arise through their business. NAM provides consulting to these businesses to prepare how to address these disputes. This includes drafting clauses for contracts, creating a dispute resolution strategy for internal disputes and avoiding risks, and customized training on dispute resolution.
- Neutral Evaluation: Occasionally, parties will need an honest review of their position and will need to see how they would fare in litigation. NAM provides neutrals to assist the parties in an evaluation of their case and finding strengths and weaknesses that may need to be addressed.
- Discovery Referee: In complex litigation with lots of discovery, some courts will appoint a discovery referee to help resolve any discovery disputes that may arise. NAM can provide neutrals to assist in this process.
- Trial Preparation: Similar to neutral evaluation, NAM can assist parties in trial preparation including providing mock jury trials for parties to evaluate how their trial strategy could play out, identify weaknesses in the case that they need to address, and multiple situations to create the best trial strategy moving forward.
By providing these services, NAM helps their clients resolve their disputes through whatever means necessary, even if it does not mean they use NAM’s services for full resolution.
The other services offered by NAM allow the parties to support their alternative dispute resolution processes or litigation. These services are valuable aspects of NAM’s mission and help their clients keep organized and help them to reach their goals in resolution. These services include:
- myADR Case Management: NAM has created an online platform for clients to organize their ADR programs and initiatives. It helps oversee and analyze the programs in place and can give feedback on the process to see if it needs to be tweaked to make the process as beneficial as possible. The application provides a scalable system and easy-to-use space.
- Virtual ADR: In addition to providing in-person services, NAM also helps its clients participate in virtual alternative dispute resolution. This allows greater access to neutrals with expertise that may not be able to provide those services in person. NAM works across a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex Meetings, and Skype. NAM ensures that these platforms are secure and encourage parties to participate fully in the process, even from afar.
NAM continues to add to its services and ensure that in the ever-changing world of alternative dispute resolution, the services and support provided are keeping up with the landscape of the legal profession.
In addition to offering the services above, NAM also covers a wide spectrum of practice areas and has neutrals that are prepared to address a variety of disputes. These practice areas include:
- Appellate Arbitration: Uncommonly, NAM allows its clients to select an appeal process for their arbitration. This allows a panel of arbitrators to evaluate the initial decision and issue a new award.
- Complex Commercial: From contract disputes and sales issues, NAM provides neutrals to help resolve any commercial issues that their clients bring them.
- Construction: There are a variety of construction disputes that may arise during a project. These disputes are often technical and difficult, which is why NAM ensures that their neutrals assigned to construction cases are prepared and experienced in the subject matter to help resolve the dispute.
- Employment: Employment issues are often difficult and involve emotions that both parties would like to keep out of the public eye. These cases can also be highly specialized, so NAM ensures that these disputes can be resolved discreetly and effectively.
- Insurance: Insurance disputes are often a headache for every party involved. NAM has experienced and invested neutrals that understand the insurance industry to create a space where the dispute can be resolved effectively, either in mediation or through arbitration.
These are only examples of some of the cases that NAM neutrals are experienced in and provide services for. Chances are if there is a dispute, one of NAM’s over 2,600 neutrals will be able to help resolve the dispute.
Reasons People Choose NAM:
When businesses are choosing a dispute resolution practitioner, they often review and address a variety of organizations. Yet, companies and firms consistently choose NAM to help resolve their disputes. NAM calls this success the NAM Advantage and suggests that the reasons that many of these clients choose them include:
- Roster with Expertise: The neutrals that make up the NAM roster are experienced and committed, as evidenced by the wide array of practice areas and services provided.
- Industry Leadership: The constant evaluation that NAM does of their services and the feedback that they receive allow NAM to continuously innovate in the resolution services field and make strides forward, often leading the pack in their services.
- Innovation and Customization: NAM allows its clients to customize their services to fit their specific needs, which encourages innovation both for that client and other clients moving forward.
- Administration: As mentioned above, the administrative staff at NAM understand the complexities of dispute resolution and ensure that the cases move forward with the best possible trajectory.
- Technology: NAM is an industry leader in its ADR technology and ensures that the parties are ready to achieve success in their work.
- Customer Service: NAM prides itself on retaining 95% of its clients for years and years.
- Fees: NAM’s fee structure is consistent, competitive, transparent, and predictable.
When you consider these reasons, it is evident why many customers choose NAM over and over. NAM is the leading dispute resolution servicer in the country for a reason, and the title and well-deserved.