ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Alternative Dispute Resolution comes in a number of forms, inlcuding mediation, arbitration & collaborative law, and can be used in to resolve a wide range of legal disputes. Court can be stressful and costly. Various forms of dispute resolution such as mediation, collaborative law and arbitration, when used in the right circumstances, generally lead to better settlements, improved satisfaction with the outcome or manner in which the dispute is resolved, reduced time in dispute, reduced costs related to the dispute resolution, and increased compliance with agreed solutions.
In mediation, an impartial person called a "mediator" helps lead the parties in discussion try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of their issues. The mediator's goal is to create an environment where both parties can discuss the issues and explore potential options in a productive way. The mediator will not provide legal advice or make decisions for the parties.
Mediation may be particularly appropriate when parties have a relationship they want want or need to preserve such as family members, neighbours, or business partners. Mediation is also effective when emotions are getting in the way of resolution. An effective mediator can hear the parties out and help them communicate with each other in an effective and nondestructive manner. A mediator helps each party maintain perspective and guides them toward a solution that is satisfactory and workable.
Contact Daniel N. Tangjerd for more information.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDIATION, ARBITRATION & COLLABORATIVE LAW?
In mediation, the parties retain control of the outcome. With the assistance of a neutral facilitator, the parties plan their own settlement which may become legally binding. In Collaborative Law, as in mediation, the parties retain control over the outcome, but the negotiations are conducted without a neutral third-party. Each party retains their own collaborative lawyer who facilitates the process and are trained in interest-based negotiation. Arbitration is a form of adjudication. It is generally less formal than a trial in court. However, an arbitrator's role is to decide the outcome of the case, and an arbitrator's decision is usually binding. More information regarding each of these processes can be found below.
In arbitration, a neutral person called an "arbitrator" hears arguments and evidence from each side and then decides the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is less formal than a trial, and the rules of evidence are often relaxed. Arbitration may be either "binding" or "nonbinding." Binding arbitration means that the parties waive their right to a trial and agree to accept the arbitrator's decision as final. Generally, there is no right to appeal an arbitrator's decision. Nonbinding arbitration means that the parties are free to request a trial if they do not accept the arbitrator's decision.
Arbitration is best for cases where the parties want another person to decide the outcome of their dispute for them but would like to avoid the formality, time, and expense of a trial. It may also be appropriate for complex matters where the parties want a decision-maker who has training or experience in the subject matter of the dispute.
HOW WARDELL GILLIS CAN HELP
Lawyers at Wardell Gillis have experience in leading and participating in mediations, arbitrations, and collaborative law. We can help our clients navigate these processes led by someone else or we can serve as the mediator, arbitrator, or collaborative lawyer.
In collaborative law, the parties and their lawyers sign a contract agreeing not to go to court. They commit to work together in a non-adversarial, respectful way to find solutions that work for everyone involved. The process is based on open communication and is often useful in family matters where an amicable situation is better for everyone. It often achieves a greater sense of satisfaction and can be less time consuming and less expensive than court. The collaborative process often results in better long-term resolutions satisfactory to all parties.