What the heck is alternative dispute resolution?

September 12, 2012 | Posted by Ken Eisner | No Comments

Alternative dispute resolution is a recent trend in law. But what exactly is it? As most know, litigation in the court system can be time Alternative Dispute Resolutionconsuming and very expensive. As a result, alternative dispute resolution has become a much more common forum to resolve disputes. There are essentially two types of alternative dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration.

Mediation is when a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. The mediator uses various techniques to open, or improve dialogue between the parties, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. The benefits of mediation include:

  • Cost, typically significantly less than litigating in court;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Control, in that both parties must be satisfied with the result; and
  • Finality, presuming that the parties are satisfied with the result, they are willing to fulfill their obligations without additional intervention.

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties present their cases to one or more persons, and agree to be bound by that person(s)’ decision. Unlike mediation, in arbitration, typically one party wins and the other loses. Similar to mediation, however, it is usually less costly than litigation.

Arbitration is most common in contractual disputes when the parties agree upon in the contract itself, before there is a dispute, to resolve any dispute in arbitration. If the agreement is silent as to this issue and one party does not desire arbitration, the parties are left with no other result but to litigate in court.

So, we hope that helps to educate you about alternative dispute resolution! If you have any questions, let us know.

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Category : Alternative Dispute Resolution, Eisner Law Blog

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