If you are involved in a civil dispute, you might consider litigation in order to protect your rights and interests. However, a litigation may not be the best option available, as litigation is generally time consuming and costly. Hence, you may want to consider the several Alternative Dispute Resolution options available: Mediation, Neutral Evaluation and Arbitration.
What is Mediation?
• A process by which a neutral third party mediates the dispute, helping parties reach a mutually satisfactory decision without determining the fault of either party. Outcomes may be specially tailored to suit parties’ needs.
What is Neutral Evaluation?
• A neutral third party will hear the merits of the case presented by both parties and their lawyers. Then the evaluator would provide his/her best estimate of the possible outcome if the case went to trial.
What is Arbitration?
• An arbitrator, or a panel of arbitrators, would convene and hear the case. However, unlike litigation, an arbitration is generally more informal in nature and may be held in private as opposed to in an open Court room.
Given the different options available, it may be difficult to decide to go for alternative dispute resolution or litigation. Some of the factors that should be considered in helping you decide are: time, costs, privacy, binding decision, and maintenance of relationship. Generally, going for alternative dispute resolution may be cheaper and faster than litigation. However, certain options, such as mediation and neutral evaluation, are non-binding and parties may decide to litigate despite concluding alternative dispute resolutions, resulting in increased cost and time.
Parties who opt for alternative dispute resolution typically go for mediation as it is usually efficient and sufficient to address the litigants’ dispute. However, it may not be the best option in all scenarios. If you are unable to decide on which option is the best for you, our lawyers are always available for consultation and helping you decide the best way to move your case forward.