Posted on June 17, 2010 in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Using mediation and arbitration to your advantage
Mediation and arbitration are two forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR offers disputants a different way to resolve conflicts—one that takes place outside of court, without the intervention of judges and juries. As people have become conscious of the time, excessive costs, and potential stress of courtroom litigation, ADR services offered by attorneys have become a more common option for those wishing for more discreet solutions.
Whether through mediation or arbitration, alternative dispute resolution has proved a useful technique for addressing a range of sensitive employment issues such as workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, and contract violations.
The differences between mediation and arbitration
While mediation and arbitration are both forms of ADR, they do differ significantly:
- Mediation is usually entered voluntarily, while arbitration can be mandatory (e.g., as stipulated in employment or consumer contracts)
- In mediation, disputing parties determine the terms of their settlements; in arbitration, arbitrators impose judgments
- In mediation, attorneys and counsels for disputing parties are not always necessary; in arbitration, legal representation is often advisable
- Overall, arbitration is closer to the process of a courtroom trial than mediation, which may be viewed means for reaching conflicting parties to reach compromises.
- The benefits of mediation and arbitration
Beyond their differences, mediation and arbitration share the benefits of avoiding courtroom trials. Businesses often wish to avoid public trials where financial details and the amounts of settlements could be revealed to the public. Public trials risk damaging the image of a company (even when they are not true)—for example, when employees file claims such as sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. In addition to the obvious benefit of privacy, mediation and arbitration also have the potential to lower legal expenses and the time that it takes to resolve a dispute.
Another advantage of choosing mediation or arbitration is that mediators and arbitrators are usually hand-selected by conflicting parties. This means that if an issue requires specialized knowledge of a particular issue or aspect of law, then the arbitrator may be more likely than a judge or a jury to be able to understand the scope of the conflict and the arguments of each party.
If you are involved in a workplace dispute and think that you could benefit from ADR, contact an ADR attorney in your area.
For excellence in alternative dispute resolution
Contact Jerry D. Goldstein if you are in need of a skilled, experienced alternative dispute resolution attorney to help resolve conflicts within your organization. A highly qualified mediation and arbitration lawyer, Mr. Goldstein brings skill, experience, and dedication to the negotiation table for every client, every time.
Mediation and arbitration are two forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR offers disputants a different way to resolve conflicts—one that takes place outside of court, without the intervention of judges and juries.