Should You Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution?
There may be times when litigation is not the best option for your case. In those times, Grayson Law, PLLC, is proud to offer various Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options.
This is one of the most common forms of ADR. Mediation is the process of resolving a dispute through the use of a neutral third-party (mediator). A skilled mediator will work collaboratively with the parties to find a resolution to their dispute while not imposing his own views or opinions on the participants.
In a mediation, the parties meet separately with the mediator in breakout sessions called caucuses where they brainstorm options for resolving the dispute. The mediator splits time between the disputing partings, relaying the various options reached during these brainstorm sessions and exchanging proposals for a possible resolution.
Arbitration is akin to a miniature trial where, instead of a judge and jury, the parties present their case to a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator. Prior to the arbitration, the parties exchange information pertaining to their cases.
At the arbitration, witnesses are called to testify, documentary evidence is presented, and each party offers a closing argument. The arbitrator renders a decision based on the parties’ presentation of the evidence and arguments. The arbitrator’s decision can be binding or non-binding, depending on the agreement of the disputing parties.
A med-arb is a special proceeding that combines the techniques of a mediation and arbitration. The mediator-arbitrator first engages the parties in the processes of mediation including fact finding as well as various sessions of compromises and concessions. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement through the standard mediation process, the mediator-arbitrator then shifts the process into an arbitration where he or she renders a decision.
Mini-Trial is a unique proceeding where the parties agree to resolve their dispute through a process that involves (1) the exchange of information, (2) presentation/argument of the merits of each party’s respective case, and (3) active negotiation based on the presentations of the parties.
Why Choose ADR
ADR is considered to be a cost effective alternative to typical litigation and many types of ADR can be done outside the representation of counsel. This means that in ADR you may only pay for the cost of a mediator or arbitrator and you may be able to avoid the additional expenses of attorney fees, court filing fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees.
Depending on your circumstances, ADR may be your best option to resolve your dispute and preserve your relationship with the other party. Litigation is a long, invasive process that can involve stressful depositions and court testimony, lengthy discovery and disclosure processes, and a clearly defined winner and loser to a given dispute. This can be extremely taxing on relationships.
Alternatively, ADR invites the disputing parties to work together in a collaborative process that yields a win-win agreement for everyone involved. Additionally, the parties are not subject to the same rigor in ADR as they may be in litigation, which reduces the risk for anger, frustration and resentment.
Do You Have Questions About ADR?
If you have a dispute that might be a good candidate for ADR, please contact us to discuss your options.