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Options for Resolving Legal Disputes


If you have been served with a lawsuit or have been unable to come to an agreement with an opponent, Shaw & Murphy will zealously advocate your position and guide you from the time you start the Court process through the entry of the final judgment. We are experienced in representing clients at trial in a variety of cases in Town, State and Federal Courts.

Alternatives to Litigation

We recognize that Court may not be the best option for you. You may be better served by negotiation, mediation, collaboration, or arbitration. We can assist you with all of these other means of resolving your dispute.


You are likely familiar with negotiation: direct exchanges between the parties or their lawyers. We organize your facts and the law to craft a strategy tailored to help you negotiate with the other party, or help you with the terms of an agreement you have reached on your own. Where needed, we can file your agreement with the Court so it is enforceable.


Mediation is meeting with a neutral third person to help you discuss your situation. Trained mediators, like the people at Community Dispute Resolution Center ("CDRC") help parties discuss their own solution. You can also hire a mediator who is also a lawyer, to help you make any agreement into an order the Court will enforce. We have a great deal of experience with mediation.

Collaborative Law

In Collaborative Law, the parties each have their own specially-trained lawyer and discuss their needs in a series of four-way meetings between the two parties and their attorneys. Collaborative lawyers: 1) help the parties accumulate the information needed to resolve their situation; 2) help the parties set the rules for their discussion and plan the topics to be discussed; and 3) help guide the parties' discussion to find a mutually agreeable solution. Mr. Murphy is trained in Collaborative Law. You can find out more about Collaborative Law at www.collab-law.com.


Essentially, arbitration is hiring a private judge. In this method, you are giving up the protections of a formal legal process in favor of a faster, less formal process. It takes less lawyer time and therefore, less expense for you. Arbitration can be used in almost any civil matter, except for divorce or child custody matters. Shaw & Murphy attorneys have tried cases in arbitration, and have served as arbitrators.

Shaw & Murphy can help you decide which means of dispute resolution makes the most sense for you and guide and support you through that process.

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Contact Information

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Contact Us

Shaw & Murphy Law Firm

Ithaca Office
The Frontenac Building
109 East Seneca St
Ithaca, New York 14850
Phone: (607) 273-2900
Fax: (607) 273-2933
E-mail: [email protected]

Groton Office
170 Main Street
Groton, NY 13070
Phone: (607) 898-3190
Fax: (607) 898-3765
E-mail: [email protected]