Are you looking for a way to resolve disputes without going through the tedious process that comes with litigation? If this is the case, we have the perfect solution for you.
Using alternative dispute resolution, you’ll be able to settle a dispute without the need for a lengthy litigation settlement. It’s typically more cost-effective, less formal, and takes less time compared to a trial. You’ll also have more control over the period and method of resolving disputes.
Through alternative dispute resolution, the people involved can understand the other party’s argument and agree on a solution while avoiding the animosity arising from court trials.
The types of alternative dispute resolution most commonly used in civil cases include:
- Neutral evaluation
- Settlement conferences
Read on to understand each method and discover which one is appropriate for your case.
Mediation is more professional, but the people involved still retain control over the outcome. A neutral and experienced mediator assists the parties in an attempt to achieve the optimal settlement that is mutually acceptable to all people involved. Without influencing and deciding the outcome, the mediator simply helps the parties communicate in peace to resolve the dispute without going to trial.
In mediation, the parties involved have complete control over the content of the talks and whatever agreements they arrive at. It gives both parties an opportunity to tell their side of the story while the mediator listens carefully to understand the issues involved in the dispute. The mediator will present various options for resolution and help the parties to craft a settlement.
Mediation can be done face to face if both parties want to communicate directly with one another during the resolution. Otherwise, the mediator can conduct separate meetings with each party to evaluate the merits of their claims and recommend the best solution.
This alternative dispute resolution is best for disputes between families, friends, business partners, or neighbors. It can prevent explosive behavior and emotions from getting in the way of an effective resolution. However, if either of the parties doesn’t want to cooperate, this may not be a good choice.
If mediation is not for you, you can go for arbitration instead. A neutral person known as an arbitrator will listen to the arguments of both parties and analyze evidence before deciding the outcome. With arbitration, the rules of evidence are more relaxed, and it’s not as formal as a court trial.
You can choose either a binding or nonbinding arbitration method. With the former, the parties relinquish the right to a trial. Once the arbitrator reaches a decision, they should accept it as final and cannot be appealed.
On the other hand, the parties can still request a trial if they disagree with the decision in nonbinding arbitration.
This type of dispute resolution is ideal for cases in which both parties want someone else – preferable one with expertise on the issue – to decide the outcome for them without going to trial. However, arbitration is not recommended for parties who wish to have complete control over the result of dispute resolutions.
3. Neutral Evaluation
If the case needs an expert’s opinion on the matter at hand, neutral evaluation is recommended. The evaluator – a neutral person knowledgeable on the subject – will listen as both parties present their case before expressing an opinion regarding the argument and suggesting the best way to resolve the dispute.
The opinion of the evaluator is not legally binding. However, it can be used by the parties involved as a starting point for attempting to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
4. Settlement Conferences
If you end up going for a settlement conference to resolve disputes, it can either be mandatory or voluntary. A settlement officer or judge will discuss the possibility of settling the dispute by meeting with both parties and their lawyers. Without actually making the final decision on the resolution, the officer or judge will help the parties assess the factors involved in the case and assist in the negotiations.
Resolve Disputes Peacefully
Alternative ways of resolving disputes are gaining popularity across the nation. Unlike aggressive litigation, these proceedings allow the parties to understand both sides and peacefully agree on the best solution. Arbitrators like A.J. Krouse offer dispute resolution services so you can avoid costly court proceedings while increasing control over both process and outcome.