One way of resolving legal disagreements is through negotiation. But when that doesn’t help sparring parties reach a settlement, they may have to move on to other methods. In fact, they may use one of the two common forms of alternative dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration. If you are involved in a legal disagreement, you may want to consider the following information.

Mediation as a Means of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Parties may choose to schedule a mediation. Sometimes, though, the court may order parties to attend mediation. But why?

Mediation offers some parties a less expensive, less formal way of settling their disagreements. It’s one step up from informal negotiations, but still not as restrictive as a trial.

During the mediation, the mediator will talk to the parties and their attorneys in a group session. Typically, the parties then break out into smaller groups. The mediator talks to each group, attempting to facilitate a settlement of their legal disagreements. It’s important to note that the mediator does not decide how to settle the matter, order the parties to take any action, or render a verdict.

Many parties are able to find common ground with the mediator’s assistance. However, if they fail to settle, the parties have another option before heading to a courtroom.

Arbitration, Also a Way of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Though also less formal than a trial, arbitration works differently than mediation.

A case may be heard by one arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. There are some rules and regulations similar to a trial, but there are still advantages to trying arbitration first. For example, arbitrations generally can be scheduled more quickly than trials. Awards made by the arbitrator usually are legally binding and enforceable.

Alternative Dispute Resolution May Be the Right Solution

Sometimes, though, it depends on the type of case. However, it is certainly worth considering mediation or arbitration next time you have a legal disagreement.

Attorney Bruce Adams is an Alabama attorney who knows how to listen to his client’s legal concerns and provide actionable advice. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding communities like Gadsden, Heflin, and Pell City.

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