Dispute Resolution Procedures
Most cases can benefit in some way from one or more of the ADR processes. Each ADR process offers at least some of the following advantages over traditional litigation. You should consider using an ADR process if any of the characteristics listed below could improve the resolution of your dispute.
Produce greater satisfaction with results
After a lawsuit goes all the way through trial, even the winners may feel they have lost. The costs and time commitment on both sides may be enormous. Sometimes neither side is satisfied with the result. Relationships that may have existed between the parties are likely to have been severely strained. On the other hand, ADR may help you:
Create more flexibility, control and participation
In formal litigation, the court is limited in the procedures it must follow and the solutions it might reach, and there are risks to submitting a case to a judge or jury. ADR processes are more flexible and permit parties to participate more fully and in a wider range of ways. They give parties more control by providing opportunities to:
Lead to a better understanding of the case
In traditional litigation, the parties may stop communicating directly. Often it is only after a significant amount of time and expense that the parties come to understand how their dispute can be presented in the legal system.
ADR can expedite the parties’ access to information and help them obtain an earlier and better understanding of the legal aspects of their case. It may:
Improve case management
Early in a lawsuit, attorneys sometimes find it difficult to devise a cost-effective case management plan and/or ways to limit the dispute. An ADR neutral (an impartial person) may help you:
Reduce communication barriers
Due to its adversarial nature, litigation can increase the level of tension, and often hostility, between parties. These escalated barriers to communication hamper chances for settlement. In contrast, an ADR neutral may:
When ADR may not be useful
Although most cases can benefit in some way from ADR, some cases might be better handled through the formal litigation process. These include lawsuits in which: