Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger

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Need to Resolve a Legal Dispute Outside the Courtroom?

Attorney Brad Swingle Now Offers Mediation Services Throughout Central Valley 

With expertise in all manner of civil litigation matters, attorney Brad Swingle is now offering his services as a neutral mediator in matters involving:

What Are the Main Differences Between Mediation and Arbitration?

While many forms of ADR services exist, mediation and arbitration are the most popular. However, there are key differences between the two that could affect the outcome of your resolution.

Mediation Services

Mediation is a voluntary process where both parties negotiate terms of an agreement with the guidance of a neutral third party – the mediator. During mediation, both parties receive an opportunity to explain their side of the story. The mediator will refocus on issues when necessary and keep the conversation productive. In this process, the mediator does not make any binding decisions about the case. He or she simply facilitates negotiations with the goal of helping both sides reach an agreement. If both parties come to an agreement, then the mediator drafts documents for review by lawyers of both parties. As a result, successful mediation can lead to reduced court costs and a swift settlement.


Arbitration is a process that also involves a neutral third party. However, unlike mediation, arbitration services are similar to a court trial. For example, both parties may present witnesses, give testimony and provide evidence to the arbitrator. Afterward, the arbitrator drafts a decision and submits it to the court. While arbitration is like a trial, it is still much quicker, and therefore may save you money in court costs. Additionally, arbitration can be binding or non-binding, depending on the law underlying the dispute or the agreement of the parties.

Representing Individuals & Businesses for Over 43 Years

Certified by the American Arbitration Association, George Arata has represented individuals and businesses in the Central Valley for over 43 years. Throughout his career, George has earned a reputation as an experienced and tenacious trial attorney. He has taken more than 75 cases to verdict through trial and favorably resolved hundreds more. Further, he has a long-standing history of handling personal injury matters on both sides of the gavel. For example, he worked as an insurance defense attorney for more than 30 years. More recently, he has built up a strong practice representing injured parties.

In addition, attorney George Arata has amassed an impressive number of awards and recognitions for his services. He has earned an AVOO rating and an AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He has also been selected as one of Northern California’s Super Lawyers.

Based in Modesto, George accepts matters in Modesto and throughout the Central Valley and Northern California. If you are going through a personal or business dispute and have questions about alternative dispute resolution (ADR), then contact him today.

What Are the Primary Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Going to trial is frustrating. Fortunately, California mediation lawyer George Arata has a solution to help you peacefully resolve your dispute. The primary benefits of alternative dispute resolution include:

  • Lower costs. Court costs can spiral out of control during a trial. Alternative dispute resolution can save you time and money by settling your differences outside of court.
  • Flexibility and control. In arbitration, parties can create their own terms that govern how the process will work. This includes establishing rules about discovery, hearings, time limitations and other concerns.
  • Speed. Simply put, alternative dispute resolution is faster than courtroom litigation. For example, the American Arbitration Association reports that U.S. district court cases take up to 12-16 months longer to get to trial than cases using arbitration.
  • Privacy. While most litigation is open to the public, the ADR process is confidential. Thus, if both parties reach an agreement through mediation or arbitration, then the terms of your agreement will not become a part of the public record.
  • Neutrality. The mediator or arbitrator of your dispute is typically a specialist in ADR with no interest in the outcome of the dispute. Furthermore, both parties must agree on the mediator or arbitrator refereeing the sessions, helping ensure everyone that the process is fair.

Contact Attorney George Arata for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation Services

Disputes over shared assets, estates or business? Questions about the mediation process or arbitration clauses? You deserve to feel confident and informed during mediation negotiations. Attorney George Arata can answer your questions and help you avoid any costly or lengthy court proceedings. He can also help you tell your side of the story to the unbiased mediator. 

Contact him today at (209) 340-1110 or send him a message through our website.


“This firm exemplifies how a multi-faceted group of attorneys can work together to achieve positive results.”

- James M.
Case Results

We fight tirelessly to make sure we gain the best possible results for our clients.

  • Broadside Motor Vehicle Accident

    Recovered the policy limits when client was broadsided in an intersection.

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  • Business Dispute

    Recovered $3,300,000 in buy-out and settlement of minority business owners in breach of fiduciary duty obligations of entity management action.

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  • Business Dispute

    Recovered $1,200,000 in income producing property in family business dispute action alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary against majority owner family members wherein all income payments and distributions to client had ceased for multiple years.

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  • Car Accident

    $8,500,000 recovery. Client was rear-ended on the freeway and suffered catastrophic injuries.

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  • Dog Bite

    Plaintiff was bitten on the hand by his employer’s dog.

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