Which Alternative Dispute Resolution is Best?

An Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may be used as a substitute for costly courtroom litigation when attempting to resolve a legal dispute between parties. There are three types of ADRs, including facilitation, mediation, and arbitration. Which one is used depends on the circumstances of the case. Those involved in a dispute may wonder, which ADR is best for their particular dispute.

What is facilitation?

Facilitation is a form of ADR in which issues are handled under the guidance of a neutral facilitator who will help the parties collaborate until they resolve their problem. Often less structured and formal than the other ADR types, facilitation may be the first step in the resolution process.

What is mediation?

Mediation, a common form of ADR, is a process that occurs between two parties without any mandate by the court. In mediation, two parties are brought together to resolve the dispute with the help of a neutral third-party mediator.

Mediation is not as formal as going to court, but it is more structured than facilitation. With mediation, key components include the mediator’s and disputants’ opening statements, joint discussions, and, if successful, negotiation.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is another type of ADR in which both parties present their case to a neutral third-party arbitrator (which could be one or more individuals). In arbitration, parties present their arguments and provide evidence. There may even be a limited amount of discovery. However, this type of ADR differs from litigation in that the parties may not need to follow the rules of evidence that are applicable in court. An arbitrator will listen to both sides before deciding.

Which ADR is best?

Each ADR has its own benefits and which one to utilize depends upon the dispute. An attorney is often called upon to help clients decide on an intermediary.

Help is available

For more information on ADRs or to speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.