Disputes arise in many different areas of our lives. From your business to your family, one can never fully anticipate where the next dispute will come from. Worst of all, sometimes the disputes reach the point where one side looks to the court system for resolution; in most situations, by filing a lawsuit. But now there is an alternative to the slow, formal legal process. Alternative Dispute Resolution or “ADR” is the process of dispute resolution outside the court system.
The most commonly used ADR processes are mediation and arbitration. In the right situation, mediation or arbitration can be an effective method for resolving a dispute. The following five benefits of mediation and arbitration should be considered when deciding whether or not to mediate or arbitrate your dispute:
Mediation and arbitration are informal approaches to dispute resolution. Therefore, proceedings take place in an informal, less confrontational atmosphere such as an attorney’s office. This creates a more positive business relationship between the two parties. In the case of mediation specifically, a resolution cannot be reached unless the sides work with one another to reach a negotiated settlement.
Save on Legal Expenses:
The expenses associated with obtaining the results desired must always be considered. As a result, one of the biggest reasons people resolve their disputes via mediation or arbitration is to save on costs. With vast procedural rules and high filing fees, litigating through the formal legal process can be too expensive. By costing considerably less than litigation, mediation and arbitration also provide a viable method for resolving smaller financial disputes.
The parties control some of the process; selecting whether to mediate or arbitrate, selecting the neutral for their mediation or arbitration proceedings; the length of the process; and, in mediations, even the outcome. Mediation and arbitration are flexible in contrast to the rigid procedural requirements and judicial rulings of formal litigation.
Unlike court, mediation and arbitration can be scheduled by the parties and the mediator/arbitrator as soon as convenient for everyone involved. Compared to the court process, where disputes of 2 to 3 years are all too common, mediation or arbitration is a fast alternative.
Court proceedings are part of the public record and with the internet-connect world we live in, at the public’s finger tips. Mediation and arbitration, on the other hand, can be conducted in private and with strict confidentiality. By utilizing mediation or arbitration, judgments and settlements can be kept confidential rather than placed in the public record for all to see.
Amir H. Afsar, Esq. is an attorney and founder of Afsar Law Group, A.P.C. which represents clients in business, real estate, construction, and estate planning matters throughout the Coachella Valley including Indio, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Banning, Joshua Tree, and other cities located within Riverside and San Bernardino County. Mr. Afsar can be reached at Afsar Law Group, A.P.C. at 760.345.3110.