Arbitration, mediation, negotiations … anyone that has faced a serious conflict in their professional or personal lives has likely heard one or more of these buzzwords. They are all part of a conflict resolution process in the legal world known as alternative dispute resolution.
What is alternative dispute resolution?
The term alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to ways parties can reach an agreement without traditional courtroom litigation. The most common examples of ADR are mediation and arbitration.
We discussed mediation in more detail in a previous post, available here.
What is arbitration?
The arbitration process uses a neutral third party, known as the arbitrator, who serves in a role like that of a judge presiding over a trial. Both parties present their case, and the arbitrator provides a binding decision.
Why would I consider use of arbitration instead of litigation?
It is wise to have a basic understanding of the pros and cons of the system before moving forward. Some of the more notable benefits can include:
- Privacy. Matters discussed in arbitration are more likely to remain private compared to litigation. This is because litigation generally occurs in a courtroom and results in a public transcript.
- Efficiency. Arbitration is not bound to the court calendar. This allows greater scheduling flexibility and often translates to a more efficient resolution, saving all involved time and money.
- Clear conclusion. Upon conclusion, the arbitrator provides a binding decision.
Although this finality is beneficial for some, others may view it as a negative. It is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of arbitration so you can move forward with the process wisely.