Charleston Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys

Dale Lang attorney

Clawson and Staubes is committed to the timely and efficient resolution of legal matters by all available means.  It is important to consider the various ways that legal disputes may be resolved short of lengthy pre-trial discovery and trial.  We offer the following methods of alternate dispute resolution:

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Fast Track Jury Trials

In addition, Clawson and Staubes offers Focus Groups, which are an excellent tool to educate parties and counsel as to the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.


Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties attempt to settle a a dispute or controversy by meeting with a neutral mediator with experience in various types of disputes. Mediation offers the parties the opportunity to conduct a structured negotiation in a confidential setting.  In South Carolina, mediation is mandatory in both State and Federal courts.

Clawson and Staubes believes the key to a successful mediation is early and active involvement by the mediator, who encourages the parties to engage in pre-mediation discussions that help develop momentum towards settlement.  If both sides understand the positions of the other in advance of the mediation, the chances for surprise are reduced and the opportunity for settlement increases.  Pre-mediation disclosures by a plaintiff often drive value with the defendant, whereas pre-mediation disclosures by the defendant often help manage the expectations of the plaintiff.

Clawson and Staubes has a number of experienced attorneys who are South Carolina Circuit Court Certified Mediators and North Carolina Superior Court Certified Mediators. Our mediators are able to mediate at our offices or to travel statewide to assist you with your alternative dispute resolution needs.


Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the final determination of a dispute is entrusted to one or more independent third parties rather than the court. Arbitration allows for the parties to present a case to a neutral arbitrator, who will render a binding decision.  While not as favored as other forms of dispute resolution, arbitration does have its advantages.  Arbitration brings cases to a conclusion without the necessity of a public trial.

Clawson and Staubes recognizes that parties win or lose in arbitration based upon the evidence presented and the applicable law.  We do not believe arbitration should be a way of “splitting the baby,” where neither side wins or loses. Clawson and Staubes has a number of experienced attorneys who are available in South Carolina and North Carolina to assist you with your alternative dispute resolution needs.

Fast Track Jury Trials

Fast Track Jury Trials, also sometimes called Summary Jury Trials, offer parties a method of obtaining a binding jury verdict before a special hearing officer and a reduced jury panel with modified rules allowing for the efficient presentation of the case.

Fast Track Jury Trials have a number of unique rules. Cases are exempt from mediation and arbitration. The parties often stipulate the admissibility of the evidence to be presented. The trial is presided over by a lawyer who serves as the special hearing officer and whose role is not unlike that of a judge. The jury is comprised of just 6 jurors. Parties are limited to just 5 witnesses and the trial is not to last more than one day. The results are generally not appealable.

Clawson and Staubes was a pioneer in developing and participating in Fast Track Jury Trials. Our attorneys have represented parties in Fast Track Jury Trials and presided over them as special hearing officers as well. Clawson and Staubes offers experienced litigators who have tried hundreds of cases in a variety of practice areas to serve as special hearing officers for South Carolina Fast Track Jury Trials.

Focus Groups

Focus Groups are a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about key issues in current or future litigation. Focus Groups allow a party to present their case to one or more mock jury panels from qualified residents of the five counties composing the Charleston Division of the US District Court: Charleston, Georgetown, Berkeley, Dorchester and Colleton. Focus groups are completely confidential.

Clawson and Staubes will help structure your case for presentation and, either by an adversarial method or facilitator lead method, present your case to a panel of 12-15 qualified jurors, who will give you the valuable feedback as to the strengths and weaknesses of your case, necessary for you to better prepare your case for settlement and/or trial.  Clawson and Staubes offers a state of the art facility for your focus group to be observed privately and videotaped during all phases of the process.

Consult with an Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney

If you are in need of a South Carolina or North Carolina alternative dispute resolution attorney, our legal team at Clawson and Staubes is available to assist you. Contact us at (843) 577-2026 to learn more about our services.

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