Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") refers to any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom. ADR typically includes early neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. As burgeoning court queues, rising costs of litigation, and time delays continue to plague litigants, more parties have begun utilizing ADR as an effective means to resolve their disputes.
ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a court trial. ADR can also give people more opportunity to determine when and how their dispute will be resolved. While the two most common forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration, negotiation is almost always attempted first to resolve a dispute. It is the preeminent mode of dispute resolution. Negotiation allows the parties to meet in order to settle a dispute. The main advantage of this form of dispute settlement is that it allows the parties themselves to control the process and the solution.
Unfortunately, sometimes the parties themselves can get in the way of successfully negotiating a resolution to their dispute by themselves. That’s when mediation may prove helpful.
In mediation, an impartial person called a "mediator" helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. A mediator may often be an attorney, or other qualified individual. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties.
Mediation may be particularly useful when parties have a relationship they want to preserve. So when family members, neighbors, landlords and their tenants, or business partners have a dispute, mediation may be the ADR process to use. Mediation is also effective when emotions are getting in the way of resolution. An effective mediator can hear the parties out and help them communicate with each other in an effective and nondestructive manner. Mediation is a non-binding process which assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.
Unfortunately, availability of the parties, logistics and, at times, even the temperament of the parties may, interfere with this process. That’s when on-line mediation can prove useful. “Let’s Talk Counseling”’ provides a secure, confidential and convenient on-line platform ideally suited for negotiations and mediation.
About the Author: Attorney Gerald Beaudoin is an attorney in Connecticut and is a Board Memember of Lets Talk Interactive (the parent company for Lets Talk Counseling.com).