You have a legal dispute with someone, but is your only option to go through the entire trial process where you will face the other party in court before a judge? The trial process can be lengthy, costly and stressful. Two other options for dispute resolution that may be worth considering are mediation and arbitration.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. In the mediation process, you and the other party will meet with a mediator with the goal of reaching a settlement to your dispute.
The mediator does not make a decision regarding your case. Instead, the mediator serves as a neutral sounding board and helps you work out an agreeable resolution to your issue.
Discussions had in mediation are kept confidential. This helps, as it makes it easier to explore all your options for a settlement. If you do reach a settlement through mediation, it can be approved by the court, making it enforceable.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a second form of alternative dispute resolution. In the arbitration process, you and the other party will present your case before a neutral arbitrator.
The arbitrator, unlike a mediator, does make a decision on your case that can be binding if you agree for it to be so. You can present evidence in your arbitration hearing, but the rules are more relaxed than they are for a formal trial.
Alternative dispute resolution has advantages
There are advantages to pursuing mediation or arbitration vs. taking your case to trial. Both of these forms of alternative dispute resolution can cost less than a trial and can be completed quicker than the length of time it can take to go through the trial process. In addition, you might find the outcome of mediation or arbitration to be fairer, as you had a say in it. Alternative dispute resolution can be an attractive option for many who want to settle their case out of court.