San Jose Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyer (ADR)
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 lawyer. 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 Alternative Dispute Resolution (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.
Alternative Dispute Resolution FAQs
It is common to resolve disputes through alternative dispute resolution as an alternative to going to court and engaging in expensive litigation. Here are a few common questions regarding this aspect of the legal field and answers.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
ADR is a procedure that allows parties to settle disputes without litigation. It involves such processes as arbitration, mediation or negotiation.
When Is Alternative Dispute Resolution Used and for What Cases?
This procedure can be used in a variety of cases. It may be used in personal injury cases, labor disputes, contract disputes and divorce actions. The process can be used before filing a lawsuit, what is commonly known as pre-litigation or after a lawsuit has been filed and any time before trial, the parties may want to mediate.
What Are the Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution?
This method is almost always less expensive than litigation. Additionally, it may be less time-consuming than litigation. In alternative dispute resolution, the parties must usually collaborate rather than work as adversaries. Another advantage of alternative dispute resolution is that parties can work on more creative solutions than courts will typically reach.
What Forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution Exist?
Arbitration is like an informal trial in which an impartial arbitrator hears arguments from both sides and then issues a decision. The parties agree ahead of time whether the decision will be binding or non-binding. Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution. This is a collaborative process in which a mediator talks to each party, either individually or together, in order to reach a resolution that both parties will agree to.
Do You Provide Private Mediation Services?
Lori Costanzo has been providing private mediation services to litigants for more than 10 years. She brings to the table more than 15 years of insurance defense experience along with an equal amount of experience on the Plaintiff’s side. This enables Lori to have a unique perspective to mediating conflicts and helping navigate highly contentious disputes.
What Is Non Binding Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary non binding negotiation process by which an impartial neutral assists in resolving a dispute between two or more parties. It is a non-adversarial approach to conflict resolution. The role of the Mediator is to facilitate communication between the parties, assist them in focusing on the real issues of the dispute, and generate options that meet the interests or needs of all relevant parties in an effort to resolve the conflict and find a mutually agreeable solution.
The parties need not be in the same room or even meet during the mediation process. All must be present however, in either breakout rooms over Zoom or in separate conference rooms. The mediator meets with the parties separately throughout the process which can easily take an entire date. At the end of a successful mediation, the dispute is resolved and the parties walk away with a signed settlement and release agreement.
What Is Early Neutral Evaluation?
Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) is a relatively short, informal, non-binding and confidential procedure that the Court uses to encourage litigants in civil cases to settle disputes before they have committed significant time and money to litigate their cases. Parties may enter ENE voluntarily or be referred (or even ordered) by the Court. An ENE session allows the parties and their attorneys to meet before an agreed upon neutral. After both sides present their case the neutral asks questions and the disputants may question each other. The neutral presents her analysis of key issues, offers an opinion on how the case would fare in court, suggests ways to bridge the gap between parties and offers to facilitate a settlement. This is very similar to mediation and regardless of the outcome, an ENE will help narrow issues and give litigants a more realistic view of their chances in court.
What Should I Consider When Hiring a Private Mediator or an Attorney?
Many individuals choose to hire an attorney to represent their interests at an alternative dispute resolution proceeding. Attorneys may assist clients prior to such proceedings by having consultations with the other side regarding solutions or strategies. Individuals who are considering alternative dispute resolution should be sure that they select an attorney with experience in the particular legal matter that is at issue.
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.