The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution
A trial is not the only way to resolve a legal dispute. Even if litigation has already begun, parties can attempt negotiation and settlement by using alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR methods include mediation, negotiation, arbitration and collaborative law. ADR has multiple benefits, and our Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates attorneys can explain how ADR could help your business dispute.
The United States court system is not in the efficiency business. In fact, many jurisdictions give broad leeway to litigants when it comes to exchanging documents and deposing witnesses. The discovery process can rack up the bills, from attorney hours to copying and mailing costs to court reporter fees. Extensive litigation also has indirect costs, particularly for a business litigant. A business can lose money and time sending its principals to depositions and gathering and preparing documents. The less time a company spends in litigation, the more it can focus on its bottom line. ADR greatly reduces costs by providing a quicker, more streamlined resolution.
Faster Results and More Flexibility
Litigation can drag on for years before a case finally goes to trial. ADR can intervene on the litigation process and offer a swift solution. The parties can schedule ADR at any time without having to wait for a court schedule, which not only speeds up the process but also provides flexibility.
Court cases, judgments and opinions are usually public record; the ADR process is confidential. If the parties settle through mediation or arbitration, no public record exists of what developed at the negotiation meetings or of the amount of the settlement.
A neutral professional typically presides over an ADR proceeding. The mediator or arbitrator is typically a specialist in ADR with no interest in the outcome of the dispute, who both parties choose to referee the negotiations. The parties are free to select an arbitrator or mediator with special knowledge of the area of law in question rather than leave the decision to a judge or a jury, who may not fully understand the law.
The parties involved in ADR can use the process as an opportunity to preserve the relationship, whether it is a husband and wife, business partners or an employer and employee. ADR proceedings are typically less acrimonious than litigation and allow the parties to get to the heart of the problem and come to a reasonable conclusion. Parties can preserve their relationships and their reputations.
ADR is a useful tool for any business involved in litigation. Contact a Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates lawyer with ADR experience to find out more.