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Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney Overview

Lawyer Assistance Resolving Civil Cases Without Litigation

The popular conception of the legal process involves a proceeding in court, with attorneys arguing their case before a judge or jury, evidence being presented, witnesses being called, and a verdict being rendered. However, many legal disputes are resolved through alternative methods, helping parties reach a settlement without the need for litigation.

If you are involved in a legal case as either a plaintiff or a defendant, a skilled attorney can help you decide whether alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the right solution for you. A lawyer can work with you to evaluate your options, consider potential outcomes, and provide legal advice and representation.

Types of ADR

Alternative dispute resolution can help parties address their legal issues more quickly and efficiently while they work to reach a mutually favorable settlement. Some common methods of ADR include:

  • Mediation - This process allows parties to work with a neutral third party who will help them address their legal issues and reach a compromise. Mediation can be used to resolve business law matters (such as contract disputes or negotiations between employees and employers), divorce issues, or other types of civil cases. The mediation process is confidential, and decisions are only binding if both parties agree to them.
  • Arbitration - In some cases, disputes are handled in a less-formal setting in which a person selected as an arbitrator hears arguments and evidence from each party and makes a decision. Arbitration may be binding, meaning that an arbitrator will make a final, legally enforceable ruling, or it may be non-binding, meaning that if a party is unsatisfied with the arbitrator's decision, they may choose to proceed to litigation. Arbitration is often used to resolve labor law disputes or certain types of personal injury cases, such as those involving medical malpractice.
  • Collaborative law - Some divorcing couples are able to reach a resolution to their case by agreeing to work together with the help of their respective attorneys to resolve their outstanding legal issues without the need for litigation. The parties will typically agree to fully and completely disclose any requested information to each other, and their attorneys will withdraw from representing them if they are unable to reach a settlement.
  • Out of court settlement - In many cases, parties are able to negotiate a favorable agreement with the assistance of their attorneys. A settlement may specify that one party will make a monetary payment to the other or require one or both parties to take certain actions, and settlements often include non-disclosure agreements that prevent the parties from discussing details of the case with others.

If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit, your attorney can work with you to determine the methods of alternative dispute resolution that may allow you to reach a favorable outcome to your case. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the processes followed during ADR and advocate for your rights and interests throughout the legal process.

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