Constructive Dispute Resolution
People and companies have disputes for a wide variety of reasons. These disputes can arise without warning. Many of these disagreements are able to get worked out after a civil discussion between mature adults. However, there are other situations where both sides refuse to compromise. In these cases, additional action must be taken in order to permanently resolve the dispute so that both parties can move forward. There are many options available in terms of ways to resolve a dispute. The method that is chosen to resolve the dispute will often have a great deal to do with the issues being disputed. Here are some of the most popular methods of resolving a dispute.
Arbitration is something that is often mentioned on the sports pages. Baseball players occasionally need to go to arbitration in an attempt to get a raise from their team. However, many people who are not athletes use arbitration every day to get their disputes settled. In an arbitration case, both of the parties agree to have their dispute heard before a single arbitrator or an arbitration panel.
There are usually three arbitrators if a panel is used. The arbitrator acts as a judge by listening to the arguments of both parties and examining all of the evidence that has been submitted. The arbitrator then makes a decision regarding how the dispute should be settled. His or her decision is made in writing and it is legally binding. Both of the parties need to reach an agreement regarding the rules that will be used during the hearing. These rules should be decided before the beginning of the arbitration process.
Mediation is a method of dispute settlement that is not quite as formal as arbitration. It is ideally used when both parties feel there is a reasonable chance that they will be able to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both sides. Mediation is good for both parties are willing to compromise. Basically, it consists of a negotiation that is not legally binding and completely voluntary. A mediator who is totally impartial is chosen to oversee the proceedings. The purpose of the mediator in a situation like this is basically to keep both parties focused on the issues that are most relevant to the resolution of the dispute. The mediator keeps the negotiations focused and prevents arguments from getting heated and out of control. This is the least expensive of all the common methods available for professional dispute resolution.
Unfortunately, the odds are good that many people will be involved in a lawsuit at some point during their life. This is never a good situation. Needless to say, being sued is a very unpleasant experience. Even if you are the plaintiff, filing a lawsuit against a person or company can be an expensive and time-consuming process. There is also the possibility you could lose. In which case, you might be ordered to pay for the defendant’s legal fees. Therefore, you must carefully think about the strength of your case before you file a lawsuit against somebody. Don’t do it unless you think the chances of you winning are very good.
You need to also consider budget before you decide which method you will use to resolve your dispute. If you choose arbitration, you will need to pay the arbitrator that will be handling your case. The amount of money required to hire an arbitrator will be considerably less than hiring an attorney to represent you during a lawsuit in a court of law. However, there is a chance that the arbitration process could drag on for much longer than you originally intended. If this should happen to you, the fee that the arbitrator will charge could be quite considerable. You need to be prepared for this possibility.
It is no secret that lawyers generally charge a lot of money for their services. This is the primary reason that a lawsuit should only be considered if all other options have been explored. Lawsuits should only be used as a last resort method of dispute resolution. The legal system moves very slowly. The longer your cases drags on, the more you will be forced to pay your lawyer. If a lawsuit is unavoidable, your best option would be to hire a lawyer who works on contingency. This means that the lawyer will not receive any payment if he or she loses your case. You will only pay the lawyer if you win. It can sometimes be difficult to find contingency lawyers in small cities.