In the world of business, lawsuits are accepted as a price of playing. But when a legal battle breaks out, the costs can be prohibitive. Tied up in court for years on end, both sides can end up spending a fortune on commercial litigation. It is no wonder alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has emerged as a viable legal option.
What Is It?
ADR is defined as any method of resolving disputes outside of the courtroom. There are no judges, no jurors, and far fewer rules. In other words, it’s a simplified version of a trial that gets to the heart of the matter more expeditiously. Though rules do differ based on location, mediation and arbitration are the two most common forms of alternative dispute resolution. Let us take a moment to discuss them individually.
A highly informal legal option, mediation is essentially a negotiation process between the two opposing parties. An impartial observer called a mediator listens to both sides then tries to work out an agreement between them. This potential settlement can be accepted or rejected by either side. Only when both parties agree can a legally-binding, completely confidential contract be signed.
When Is It Used?
The primary advantage of mediation over other resolution methods is its incredible versatility. The option has been used in a wide range of cases, from juvenile felonies to multi-billion dollar commercial litigation cases.
Much closer to a trial than mediation, arbitration lets lawyers introduce evidence and argue in front of a panel that decides the case. They may not be judges, mind you, but arbitrators do have the authority to write a decision and recommend an arbitrator award. The decision must then be reviewed and approved by a third party before it is legally binding on both parties.
When Is It Used?
Because it does not depend on the persuasiveness of a mediator to seal the deal, arbitration proceedings are often more expeditious. On average, they tend to last for only a few days, a week at most. Moreover, the arbitration panel only meets for a few hours a day, which keeps legal fees low. Last but not least, all opinions are NOT a matter of public record. That fact alone makes arbitration an attractive option to settle commercial litigation disputes. In recent years, securities, construction, and labor disputes have been quickly and quietly handled through arbitration.
Hiring An Attorney
Because it is a growing area of legal practice, inexperienced attorneys are flocking to ADR in record numbers. The only problem is that most of them don’t have any first-hand knowledge of this highly specialized field. That is why we strongly suggest you find an attorney who has dozens of ADR cases under his belt. It is also a big plus if he has international ADR experience since the rules of arbitration and mediation may differ from country to country.
Alternative dispute resolution can help litigants save time and money on commercial litigation.
When considering commercial litigation, Florida residents visit Welter Law Firm, P.A. Learn more at http://www.welterlawfirm.com/.
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