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Alternate Dispute Resolution

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes have many advantages over trial.

  • They are private & confidential;
  • They may be without prejudice;
  • They are often less costly;
  • They are informal and less stressful;
  • Certain processes allow disputants to create their own viable solutions.

With few exceptions, the parties of a lawsuit must go through an alternate dispute resolution process prior to proceeding to trial. These processes include mediation, arbitration, and judicial dispute resolution.

Mediation

Mediation is an effective way to resolve disputes outside of the courtroom. Parties meet together with a neutral facilitator, the mediator. The mediator is skilled in guiding conversation toward solutions. While managing the emotional climate, the mediator will facilitate a discussion of the issues and will help uncover underlying interests of each party. Through mediation, parties will propose and implement creative and workable solutions.

The benefit of mediation is that the solution is only by the mutual consent of both parties. This is quite different from a judge-imposed solution. Judges are only familiar with the story as presented to them in the courtroom. They do not have the benefit of familiarity with the situation. They have limited options as to a solution. Often one party or both parties come away very disappointed in the decision. In mediation, however, parties can come to an agreement that is optimal for all concerned.

Arbitration

Arbitration allows parties to achieve an efficient and cost-saving solution outside of the courtroom. An arbitrator is an independent, impartial decision-maker, who hears the submissions of the parties, examines the evidence presented and makes a decision that is typically binding on the parties. Parties can choose an arbitrator who has experience in the field of law at issue. The benefit of arbitration is that the parties have considerably more control of the process. They agree on the arbitrator, decide the parameters of the process, agree on the timelines for arbitration, and set out the scope of the issues to be resolved. An arbitrator’s decision may be entered as an enforceable court judgment.

If you believe arbitration may be an effective way of resolving your dispute, please let us know. We can assist you in recommending an arbitrator suitable to your issue, and we can continue to represent you through that process.

Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR)

Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) allows parties to present their case before a judge without the stress and expense of a lengthy trial. The lawyer’s role is to gather the evidence and prepare the arguments for the judge. The judge’s role is to consider the evidence and arguments and to render an evaluative opinion, based on the law. The decision of the judge is non-binding, unless the parties have decided otherwise.

The JDR process is suitable to a number of different situations. Please let us know if this process interests you, and we will explore the option with you.

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The high cost of time, emotion, and money that is put into litigation cannot be recovered or compensated fully, even if the trial goes your way.