ARBITRATION & OTHER FORMS OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (“ADR”)
The litigation process can be expensive and incredibly slow-moving. It is not uncommon that the costs associated with legal fees will be double or triple the amount of money that is in dispute between the parties.
ARBITRATION: BY CONTRACT OR CONSENT OF THE PARTIES
ARBITRATION is a process that substitutes the judgment of an arbitrator for that of the court. It can be “binding,” meaning the arbitrator’s decision has the effect of a court judgment, or “non-binding,” which gives the parties an idea of what might happen at trial, but allows either side to reject the arbitrators decision.
BINDING ARBITRATION IN CONTRACT CLAUSES: California protects the right to jury trial, but will permit the parties to agree to binding arbitration. Arbitration provisions must meet certain requirements, and their enforceability is often the subject of litigation.
ARBITRATION BY AGREEMENT: If everyone agrees, the dispute can be submitted to an arbitrator. Often, the parties agree to arbitration either to save on legal fees or to resolve the case more quickly.
MEDIATION & OTHER FORMS OF ADR
Mediation is a popular and often effective alternative method of resolving disputes.
Typically, the mediator will hear from both sides and attempt to settle the case – usually by separating the parties and pointing out the risks and potential down-side to each side to arrive at a settlement that each party can “live-with.”
Creative and innovate approaches to dispute resolution are an important component of the litigation process insofar as they help to minimize risks, expedite the resolution, and significantly reduce the costs associated with litigation.