Frequently Asked Questions
What is New Era ADR?
New Era ADR is an online dispute resolution platform. Put simply, we allow individuals and corporations to resolve their legal disputes online by connecting them to experienced arbitrators and mediators (“Neutrals”), who then direct the disputes. All of the decisions rendered by our Neutrals on New Era products are enforceable in courts of law. We also utilize a user-friendly, online platform to administer the dispute, and the Neutrals make the ultimate decisions. The process for moving through a dispute is dictated by our Rules and Procedures. More information on arbitrations, mediations, our Neutrals, and everything related to our platform can be found below in the remainder of this FAQ.
Do you only help resolve actual litigation or do you handle disputes that aren’t yet lawsuits?
We can handle whatever kind of dispute you may have. If you are in a dispute that is not yet in court (AKA, “pre-litigation”), we’re more than happy to help you avoid litigation in court. If you are at the stage where litigation appears necessary, we can handle that as well. If you are already involved in court litigation, we would love to see if we can help you get it resolved. New Era ADR is Advanced Dispute Resolution. We don’t have minimum dollar amounts or requirements with respect to the stage of the dispute. We just want to help resolve disputes, whatever they may be.
How can you have litigation outside of court?
Alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation, was created decades ago by federal statute specifically to provide an alternative to going to court. New Era is a fully digital alternative to existing arbitration and mediation providers… and of course to going to court.
There is no requirement in the Constitution, statute or other written law that says you must resolve disputes in court. There are both federal and state courts with varying levels of jurisdiction, but you do not have to use them.
How are you different from going to court?
First, we’re digital. Everything we do is online. There is no need for in-person hearings or paper submissions. No travel, no courtrooms, no additional expenses. Second, Courts have been around for hundreds of years. During those centuries they have created processes and procedures that have evolved and grown exponentially. There now exists so much process and procedure built into the system, that the focus of litigation often becomes nuanced fighting over procedural issues that don’t get you to an end result. We firmly believe that the facts and storytelling should be the focus of the litigation process and so we’ve eliminated all the unnecessary process and procedure, limiting it to only what is necessary to ensure fairness. See our Expedited Arbitration Rules and Procedures for an illustration of how easy it is to go through a dispute with New Era ADR. Tell your story. Get a decision. Get back to growth. That is our focus.
How are you different from using a traditional arbitration forum?
Again, the first point is that we are 100% digital. Although the traditional arbitration forums have begun to migrate some of their offerings to online settings as a result of the pandemic, they are still largely meant to be in-person proceedings, just like court. New Era was created as a technology company first, with all of our resources devoted to creating the best online user experience possible, which means our digital products will always outperform the traditional arbitration forums.
Second, traditional arbitration forums have been around for decades and in that time, like courts, their processes and procedures have evolved and grown exponentially. In fact, any seasoned attorney will likely tell you that going through a traditional arbitration process is in fact no easier, cheaper, or faster than going to court, and most of the time is spent fighting over nuanced procedural rules. Through its proprietary Rules and Procedures, New Era trims the fat and streamlines the entire process, dramatically reducing the time and cost spent on any given dispute.
Who does New Era use to resolve these disputes?
New Era uses carefully vetted arbitrators and mediators, many of them former judges or highly experienced attorneys. They include members of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), which requires rigorous minimum qualifications to gain NADN membership status. New Era also handpicks additional neutrals for their particular experience and knowledge. See this page on our website for more detail.
Further, New Era ADR will always provide a diverse panel of neutrals for parties to consider in every case that’s filed on our platform. We are committed to finding the next generation of neutrals who reflect the diverse communities and organizations we serve.
We strongly believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion principles are central to the products and services we provide. Products are more inclusive when built by diverse teams with a wide range of experiences and abilities. Mediations and arbitrations are more effective, and decisions and resolutions are more fair, when parties can seek out neutrals who’ve lived, appreciate, and empathize with the broad and varied experiences and viewpoints of the parties before them.
How is a Neutral assigned to my case?
New Era ADR will provide a panel of a minimum of 3 and up to 8 Neutrals for each dispute. New Era will ensure that the panel will consist of Neutrals who have the requisite experience to preside over the type of dispute at issue.
From there, the parties will participate in New Era ADR’s standard rank/strike process, outlined in our Rules and Procedures, unless both parties opt to have New Era ADR appoint a neutral from the panel. Neutrals will disclose any conflicts of interest to the parties after they are chosen/assigned, and New Era has rules for assigning new Neutrals if any conflict is irreconcilable.
Am I foregoing any of my rights if I use New Era? Is New Era fair to consumers and individuals?
No, you do not forego any of your rights on New Era’s platform. The most basic tenet of Due Process is that you have an opportunity to be heard before an adverse action is taken against you. In many ways, New Era provides you a greater opportunity to be heard because our focus is on getting the litigants and their attorneys to tell our neutrals their story and not on the process and procedure that can often inhibit the simple telling of facts.
Yes, New Era is eminently fair to individuals and consumers and we demand nothing less. If you are a consumer or an individual and have a legitimate claim, New Era is laser focused on making sure your claim is actually heard and that a neutral can provide you with a remedy (monetary or otherwise) as quickly and efficiently as possible. We do not want process and procedure slowing down any individual or consumer’s right to relief, if justified.
How legally enforceable is a decision from the New Era process?
All of the decisions rendered by our Neutrals on the New Era platform are enforceable in courts of law. In other words, once you receive a decision from New Era, both parties will be expected to adhere to its terms. But even if one party chooses not to, the other party can file a simple action in court to enforce the decision. Courts strongly support alternative dispute resolution decisions because they lighten court dockets and encourage litigants to think of other ways to resolve disputes.
Can I appeal the decision of the Neutral on New Era’s platform?
New Era does not offer an appeals process at this time. All decisions are legally binding and final and can be enforced in a court of law.
Do I need an attorney to use New Era?
You do not need an attorney to use New Era. Our platforms are defined by their simplicity and ease of use. That said, a good attorney can help you sift through and collate the most pertinent information in your case. They can assist you greatly in telling your story in the most effective and persuasive way. So while New Era does not require the use of an attorney, we would always recommend one. Besides, because our process is digital and efficient, your attorneys’ fees will likely be substantially less than they would be in ordinary litigation or arbitration.
Do both, or all, parties have to agree to use New Era?
Yes. Alternative dispute resolution is a creature of contract. In other words, all the parties have to agree that an alternative forum is better than going through a more traditional litigation process. But this can happen in a lot of different ways. For example, if you have click-through terms and conditions or standard contract provisions that include dispute resolution clauses, you can insert our language found here, and any time a party signs your agreement or agrees to your terms and conditions, they are agreeing to use New Era as the forum for any disputes. Also, if you have an existing dispute, both parties can simply agree to bring the dispute to New Era as a one-off. We are more than happy to help parties resolve disputes, no matter how they come to us. But all the parties to the dispute do have to agree. You cannot unilaterally compel parties to use New Era.
Is there any cap on damages or what can be awarded?
No. We don’t believe that digital litigation and digital alternative dispute resolution are only applicable to small claims or relatively inconsequential disputes. To the contrary, we believe the majority of disputes can be resolved in a digital forum. So there is no cap on damages or what type of relief can be awarded by the neutrals on the New Era platform. Our goal is to resolve as many disputes as possible and get people back to the things that matter.
What types of products does New Era offer?
New Era’s offers two Virtual Arbitration solutions, both of which are the legally-binding decision that is most similar to going to court, although again, with a very streamlined and 100% digital process. The first is our Virtual Expedited Arbitration product, and the second is our Virtual Standard Arbitration product. The biggest difference between the two is that the Standard Arbitration product allows for a more formal, albeit again streamlined and tech-supported, discovery process. See the forum-specific sections in this FAQ, below, for more detail.
We also offer a solution for Virtual Mediations, which is a fully-integrated online product that takes parties who want to try and mediate their dispute from start to finish, all on one platform, using one of our experienced neutrals as a mediator. From document submission, scheduling, settlement, and the mediation itself, everything is under one roof. See the forum-specific sections in this FAQ, below, for more detail.
Finally, we offer a VirtualMediation with a Binding Resolution product, which is a sort of hybrid of a mediation and an arbitration. In Virtual Mediations with a Binding Resolution, the parties move through a Virtual Mediation in an attempt to settle their dispute as normal, but they have also already agreed that if a settlement is not reached, their case will convert to binding arbitration using the same neutral. Each party has one more opportunity to make their final arguments and then a decision is reached. The purpose of a Virtual Mediation with a Binding Resolution is to try and settle, but if that is not possible, then at least the parties can be assured that the dispute will be final and done regardless, with each party having plenty of opportunity to have their case heard in front of an experienced neutral.
Where can I find the Consumer and Employment Arbitration Statistics report?
The following online Consumer and Employment Arbitration Statistics report is made available pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §1281.96 and other applicable state and federal laws. We will update this report quarterly as required by law.