The legal process of litigating a dispute can be lengthy, stressful, and expensive. As a result, alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) have become increasingly popular to resolve legal issues without going to court. There are several different types of alternative dispute resolutions, including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law. Each one of these processes has its own benefits, but they all share a common goal: to settle legal differences between two or more parties outside the courtroom.
In mediation, a neutral third party works with disputants to help them come to a mutually acceptable settlement. Neutrals can either be facilitative or evaluative, and the most skilled mediators utilize both methods. However, there are some situations when mediation is not appropriate, such as when a disputant has too much power or influence over the other party in the dispute.
Arbitration, on the other hand, is more formal than mediation and requires a higher degree of participation from both sides. It is often more suited for disputes involving complex legal specifics and where the parties cannot agree on a solution.
A third option is a hybrid of mediation and arbitration called med-arb, which offers the benefits of both processes. Mediation-arb can help disputants explore their interests underlying their positions and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. It can also reduce costs and maintain a relationship between disputants, unlike a lawsuit, which may have a negative impact on that relationship. Litigation may be necessary in some cases, but it is important to weigh the benefits of a lawsuit against the cost and time commitment required. An experienced attorney can help determine if litigation is wise for your particular situation. alternative dispute resolutions