[custom_frame_left][/custom_frame_left] More often than not people prefer to avoid going to court and in recent years we have seen a huge growth in alternative dispute resolution, which is an alternative way of resolving disputes instead of going to Court. In sensitive matters – in either business or personal life – ADR does not add to the conflict in question, where a Court situation can. It is a less stressful method for the individuals who are already involved in stressful situation.
Benefits of ADR
ADR, instead of Court, is less stressful, more confidential, more versatile, faster, less costly and better for maintaining relationships as most people reach a mutual decision.
There are many forms of ADR including structured negotiation, collaborative law, mediation and arbitration.
What the structured negotiation process seeks to do is to establish ground rules for negotiation so that people are clear about what they can expect from the process and also what is expected of them. Structured Negotiation is very similar to the collaborative law model without the need for solicitors to agree to discharge their services to the client if negotiations break down and we have to resort to court.
With collaborative law both parties to the dispute have separate specifically trained solicitors whose only task is to help the parties to resolve the disagreements that they have. Each of the parties must have a solicitor who is committed to the ideals of collaborative law.
The people are at the centre of the process and actively involved in the negotiating process. Each of the parties is represented by their lawyer rather than choosing another party to act as go-between.
The aim of collaborative law is that as amicable a solution as possible is sought, reducing the legal expense and court time. All people in a Collaborative Law case undertake to be absolutely truthful with each other about the finances. Collaborative law is not suited to everyone who is involved in a dispute; a degree of trust is necessary and the parties must have a reasonably civil relationship.
Mediation is a swift, cost efficient method of dispute resolution. It is based on the principle that people can resolve their own disagreements if given the right encouragement. Mediation is a non-adversarial method of dispute resolution, which means that the people involved own the resolution. It is a negotiation between the people involved in the dispute instead of negotiation between their solicitors and barristers.
A mediator is not the decision maker but an independent, third party to the process. The function of a mediator is to facilitate a resolution between the parties; as such the mediator is a referee. A mediator does not judge who is right or who is wrong, but works with parties to help them arrive at a solution to satisfy their interests. The mediator in a case will always remain impartial and act for all parties objectively.
One of the advantages of mediation is that the decisions are made by the parties themselves and this gives the parties much more flexibility than a court hearing.
Mediation is a process that can be adapted to suit any given situation where difficulties need to be resolved. Mediation provides a confidential, quicker, more cost effective and more satisfactory outcome than going to Court. An outcome can be achieved in the course of a DAY! It may take months and sometimes years to resolve a disagreement in court, whereas mediation can be paced according to the parties’ needs and schedule.
Arbitration is an option which is built into most legal agreements. As it is a more inexpensive, speedy and confidential method than going to court it is a model of dispute resolution that we recommend to our clients and offer a special expertise. It also carries with it the benefit of confidentiality.
For many years the system of arbitration has been a popular method of dispute resolution for building contracts and consumer contracts such as holiday packages and motor vehicle purchases. Instead of going to Court, the parties can agree to present their case to an arbitrator who will rule on the dispute. Unlike with mediation, in a dispute the arbitrator decides the outcome.
At Lynch Solicitors we always encourage, where possible and in the best interests of all concerned, taking a route which saves both the expense and stress involved in contentious litigation.
[custom_frame_left][/custom_frame_left] John Lynch is an accredited Mediator and Arbitrator. Contact John Lynch, at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 052-6124344 or Freephone 1800 750 850.
The material contained in this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not amount to legal or other professional advice. We advise you to seek specific advice from us about any legal decision or course of action.