Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom.  The two most common forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation.  Arbitration is generally binding, and is a simplified version of a trial, which often involves limited discovery, and more relaxed rules of evidence.  Much depends on what the parties have agreed to, in terms of how the arbitration is conducted, including selection of arbitrators.  Mediation is a less formal alternative to litigation and is generally not binding.  Mediators are individuals trained in negotiations who bring opposing parties together and attempt to work out a settlement or agreement between those parties.

Carol Skinner is a qualified neutral, and has been involved in ADR in both mediation and arbitration for over ten years.  She has spent the majority of her 27 years in practice in the area of employment law, both plaintiff and defense.  She is licensed and practices in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, state and federal courts.  This experience has positioned her to respond to the unique issues that exist in employment cases.  Through our own experience as advocates in this area, we are confident that resolution of employment claims require in-depth knowledge of the substantive area of employment law, including state and federal discrimination laws, hiring and firing issues, Fair Labor Standards issues, as well as the significant emotional issues that make employment disputes difficult to resolve.  Carol has been successful in mediating claims to resolution largely because of her varied experience in representing both employers and employees in her practice. 

ADR is also a valuable resource for disputes involving intellectual property.  Skinner and Associates attorneys have practiced for 27 years in the areas of patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright, infringement, licensing, and non-compete cases.  Our clients include large corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, foreign businesses and law firms, and individuals.  Litigation in the intellectual property area can be prohibitively expensive.  ADR is a significantly less expensive alternative, and is often less damaging to the ongoing relationship of the parties than litigation proceedings.  


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