ADR is a process used to settle disputes without going to court. It may be employed after the lawsuit has been filed, or it may be proactively pursued prior to the initiation of any legal proceedings.
Types of ADR
The two most commonly used methods of ADR are arbitration and mediation. Arbitration is one way of resolving disputes outside of court. It may be binding or non-binding, which is an important consideration that should be discussed with your San Jose ADR attorney. In either case, an arbitration results in a decision rendered by the arbitrator or arbitrators.
In contrast, a mediator does not make a ruling in a case, but instead acts to facilitate communication between the parties. A mediator will listen to both sides, clarify the issues in dispute, and work toward a resolution in a non-confrontational manner.
Benefits of ADR
ADR has several potential advantages over litigation. ADR can:
- Save time: through ADR, conflicts may be resolved in a matter of weeks or months. When seeking litigation, it may take years just to get a court date.
- Reduce costs: although ADR is not without expense, litigation costs are typically significantly higher.
- Provide more control to the participants: the parties participating in ADR are more involved in the process than they would be in litigation. For example, in arbitration, parties get to choose who the arbitrator will be; in mediation, they actively participate in arriving at a resolution.
When deciding whether to pursue some form of ADR, there are many factors that one should weigh. Mediation, for example, can be a good choice when the parties wish to maintain a relationship after the conflict is resolved, such as when business partners are involved. On the other hand, mediation is probably not a good option when one party wields considerable power over the other.
Arbitration provides many of the benefits of trial at a lower cost, but one should keep in mind that binding arbitration generally cannot be appealed.
Contact a San Jose ADR Attorney for Legal Advice
It is important to consider all options when attempting to resolve a legal dispute. Lori Costanzo has over 25 years of experience and is available to discuss any legal matter, from simple advice to complex litigation matters. She can be reached at 408-993-8493.