Having a trial before a judge who hears evidence and makes the final decision is a lengthy and expensive way of solving a dispute. If you are trying to deal with a difficult lawsuit, you need to be well informed about all of your options for finding resolution.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is quite often the better option than a court trial and provides you with more flexible methods. Discover more about these alternative ways of reaching a solution to your conflict.
What are the Advantages of ADR?
The process is much more private and confidential than a court trial. Additionally it is
- quicker, less stressful and less costly with less paperwork and legalities
- allows you to take a more active role which results in higher satisfaction with the outcome
- a better way to preserve the relationships between the people or businesses involved because of the less adversarial approach
When Can it Be Used?
ADR can be implemented at any stage during a dispute; before starting a legal case, while it is proceeding or even after a court decision. However, putting it into practice in the earliest stages will lead to a speedier outcome.
There are a number of different forms that ADR may take and you should consult a solicitor about the one most suited to your preferences and the circumstances of your case.
This method uses informal means to solve a dispute. The people involved can directly communicate with each other to work toward an agreement. Alternatively, third parties can act on their behalf and a solution can be reached indirectly.
Negotiation should always be considered as the first step to take when seeking resolution. If it breaks down then other methods can then be implemented.
When negotiation it is wise to keep a few key principles in mind:
- Deal strictly with the subject matter at hand and keep personal aspects out of it. Personal attacks are not likely to lead to an agreement.
- Concentrate on the needs that must be met to reach a resolution
- Produce a number of possible options before settling on the final agreement
Mediation makes use of a neutral person to help the parties in the disagreement meet together and come to a solution. The mediator does not impose any decisions and it is not their role to provide legal advice. It is the role of the mediator to:
- Form the ground rules for discussion
- Help identify some common ground
- Keep the focus on the issues and avoid irrelevant and unproductive discussion
- Move a party from a fixed position
- Help each party listen to, and understand the other
- Deal with power imbalances between parties
- Aid in producing a resolution suitable for both parties
Mediation is a very useful process when both parties are prepared to negotiate and work in good faith toward a compromise that is mutually satisfying.
Arbitration is a more formal process where the opposing parties need to present their case to an arbitrator, a licensed professional trained in dispute resolution. After hearing the evidence, the arbitrator makes the final decision.
Arbitration is commonly used in disputes involving union matters and workplace relations. It is usually a private and voluntary method of dispute resolution, but sometimes the government requires certain types of disputes, including landlord and tenant disputes to be settled by arbitration under the Residential Tenancies Act.
There is so much to learn about the legal system and the way the law operates. That's why it is very wise to obtain assistance and gain professional legal services from the very earliest stages of a dispute. You can then benefit from their advice and learn how to take the best pathway toward achieving an alternative dispute resolution.