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Alternatives to business litigation

If you are having a business dispute with another party, you may think your only option is to file a lawsuit against the other party.

While this is undoubtedly an option, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options exist to help you and the other party negotiate the desired outcome outside of a courtroom. Whether it is a breach of contract, insurance conflicts or collection matters, you may want to try one of the following ADR procedures as an alternative to business litigation.

Mediation

Mediation is an ADR technique that involves the use of a neutral third party to help both parties reach a mutually agreeable and voluntary agreement. The role of the mediator is primarily to identify potential solutions and explore those options with you and the other party.

Mediators work with each side to encourage compromise and negotiation. If neither you nor the other party can reach an agreement, however, the role of the mediator is very limited in what they can and cannot do.

Arbitration

Arbitration also utilizes the help of an impartial third party but differs in many key ways. For example, the arbitrator has the final say in the outcome of the situation. After hearing both sides, the arbitrator makes a decision that is final and enforceable by the courts.

The arbitrator is generally someone who the disputing parties mutually select.

Minitrial

Minitrials may be appropriate for large-scale conflicts such as mass torts or antitrust disputes. During this process, attorneys for both parties present facts in front of a panel. The panel often includes an intermediary and the clients.

If both parties cannot reach a negotiated resolution, the intermediary may either mediate the issue or present a non-binding opinion.

If none of these options result in a negotiation, it may be best to begin litigation in the courtroom.

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