With decades of legal experience, Attorney Owen P. McGowan has tried more than 300 cases to verdict in Massachusetts state and federal courts. He has practiced as an attorney in Massachusetts since 1987.
As a mediator and arbitrator, Owen focuses on helping individuals and businesses resolve matters out of court. He is the author of the MCLE chapter on Alternative Dispute Resolution contained in the volume Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Torts: Liability and Litigation (4th Edition, 2016). He has provided alternative dispute solutions through the American Arbitration Association, The Duke University Private Adjudication Center and been privately retained by multiple attorneys and insurers.
Mediation and arbitration are two distinct processes, each offering advantages over the courts. Both offer a strong financial savings and timely resolution. With greater flexibility and more opportunity for input, mediation and arbitration can also be more effective for parties.
Confidentiality is another advantage. Unlike a court trial, mediation and arbitration preserve the confidentiality of all parties and the terms of the mediation settlement or arbitrator’s decision.
Areas of Expertise
Attorney McGowan offers mediation and arbitration services in these areas:
- Personal Injury
- Premises Liability
- Products Liability
- Construction Accidents
- Professional Liability Claims
- Unfair Claims Settlement Practices
- Business Disputes
- Fee Disputes
- 1987, Massachusetts
- 1987, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
- 1987, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
Professional ADR Affiliations
- American Arbitration Association, Panel Arbitrator
- Duke University Private Adjudication Center
- Massachusetts and American Bar Associations (Committees on Civil Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Alternative Dispute Resolution)
- Defense Research Institute; Panel Member
- Middlesex County Medical Malpractice Tribunals; Panel Member
- Dalkon Shield Claims Arbitration
Legal Representation During Mediation and Arbitration
Attorney McGowan works with attorneys and their clients across Massachusetts. In mediation, the parties can decide whether they want to be represented by a lawyer or not. In doing so, each party should thoroughly consider what they hope to get out of the mediation.
Arbitration decisions are legally binding. Parties are advised to have legal representation, though they have the right to represent themselves, unless they have waived this right.
Location and Video ConferencingAttorney McGowan offers mediation and arbitration in his Norwell office or at a location agreed upon by the parties. He also offers services through Zoom and video conferencing technology.
Attorney McGowan is a skilled mediator who works with individuals, families, businesses and other attorneys with clients who seek mediation services.Mediation is an informal and non-adversarial process. The goal is for the parties to work together and reach a resolution in a neutral space under the guidance of a mediator. Decisions reached in mediation are non-binding, meaning there is less risk; the parties can still pursue legal action if they are unhappy with the outcome.
Once you have decided on mediation, it is time to hire a mediator. Carefully review a mediator’s qualifications. Attorney McGowan offers unique experience as a trial attorney, mediator and arbitrator and is genuinely motivated to help parties resolve matters out of court.
A mediator’s role is to encourage the parties to move toward a resolution. A mediator may:
- Help parties identify problems
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side
- Determine common interests
- Encourage joint-problem solving
- Help the parties agree to terms and draft a written settlement agreement
The mediator does not make recommendations about the direction of the agreement. The mediator encourages the parties to work together and provides critical guidance to keep the process on track.
In closing, mediation has many benefits. Because mediation results in a non-binding decision, it is a safer and less expensive alternative to problem solving. The parties also get a glimpse at their positions and the potential stress and costs of going to court.
A final advantage is mediation is about working together. Mediation can lay the groundwork for individuals and companies to address the problem at hand, then continue their relationship.
Attorney McGowan is experienced at arbitrating civil matters across Massachusetts, including personal injury, insurance and business disputes. He works to help parties take full advantage of arbitration’s expedited process and cost-saving measures. He is committed to issuing prompt decisions which follow the law.
Arbitration is a binding-process. The arbitrator has authority and responsibility for the conduct at arbitration proceedings and has sole discretion in deciding cases.
Attorney McGowan will work with the parties on stipulations and terms for discovery, then schedule the arbitration. During the hearing, parties will have an opportunity to present their case to Attorney McGowan and question witnesses. Then he will issue a written decision.
In Massachusetts, the arbitration process is governed by M.G.L. Chapter 251, the Uniform Arbitration Act. The law explains how to enter into arbitration and selection or appointment of an arbitrator.
Attorney McGowan is qualified to handle arbitrations in all areas of civil litigation under the statute. He accepts arbitration assignments directly from lawyers or by court appointment.
Advantages to Arbitration
- Accelerated Discovery
- Abbreviated Arguments
- Financial Savings
- Quicker Resolution