In mediation, Judge Hedges works with the parties to help them reach a voluntary resolution to their dispute. Mediations generally begin with a joint session where the mediator introduces the process to the parties. Parties my elect to forego an opening joint session. In the mediation process, Judge Hedges meets with each party privately. In these private sessions, he discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case, explores potential outcomes and offers feedback on party’s positions. Anything discussed privately is not relayed to the opposing side without permission, so parties will never bid against themselves.
The arbitration process is similar to a streamlined bench trial. In arbitration, parties informally present their case to an arbiter or panel of arbiters. Parties may introduce written documentation such as expert reports, medical records, witness statements, etc. in lieu of live testimony. The relaxation of evidence makes the arbitration process cost-effective and efficient. After hearing the parties’ arguments and the presentation of the evidence, the arbiter(s) render a decision. Judge Hedges will serve as the sole arbitrator or part of an arbitration panel.
By appointment of the court, Judge Hedges will act as a Special Master in complex commercial litigation. A Special Master is a representative of the court appointed to hear a case involving difficult or specialized issues. Judge Hedges has extensive experience through his tenure as a United States Magistrate Judge.
Judge Hedges may serve by court appointment or by agreement of the parties as a Discovery Referee. Judge Hedges in this capacity presides over and rules on discovery motions and disputes relevant to discovery in the action.