The author received his law degree from Stanford University in 1974, after undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics at Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology. The focus of his practice is computer law and the representation of high technology businesses, with particular concentration in licensing and intellectual property. He is also a trained arbitrator and mediator and serves frequently as a neutral in technology disputes.
Disputes that involve technology issues display characteristics that make them particularly suitable for resolution by mediation, says William Baron. While both arbitration and mediation offer the privacy and confidentiality generally desired by parties to a technology dispute, only mediation provides the opportunity for the types of creative solutions that are sometimes necessitated by these disputes. Better still, the solutions are crafted by the parties themselves and can result in mutual satisfaction that preserves the business relationship.
In recent years, as traditional litigation has become more time-consuming and costly, various alternate methods of resolving legal disputes have gained favor. Among the earliest to gain wide acceptance was arbitration, in which the parties submit the dispute to a third party arbitrator (a “neutral”) who has no interest in the case. The decision of the arbitrator is final and binding. Except for gross abuses of the process, arbitrations are not subject to appeal. Typically, the proceedings are less formal than court, and discovery is limited.