Most of us will try to go about our lives minimising the amount of conflict we have with other people, however there may be certain stressful periods when avoiding confrontation and dispute isn’t always possible as you defend your legal rights. In these circumstances, it can be helpful to know what your options are for reaching a satisfactory conclusion with the help of an experienced solicitor. In this post we’ll explore the different methods of dispute resolution, and why they might be right for you.
Firstly, we’ll look at the potential alternatives where a judge, jury or adjudicator decides the outcome after hearing from both parties and weighing up the facts presented to them. The common options here are, litigation and arbitration.
Litigation proceedings attempt to resolve disputes and claims between two parties, who could be individuals or businesses, and in order to prevent a lengthy and costly law suit, a good solicitor will spend the majority of their time researching and fact finding to support your argument and reason the case in front of a judge or jury to your favour, or settle the case between the two parties. Normally, before litigation proceedings begin, alternative forms of dispute resolution will be explored to try and reach an outcome both parties accept. To find out more about the , visit our website.
Closely following litigation in terms of dispute resolution options is arbitration, which is where the two disagreeing parties hand the debate over to an independent third party (an arbitrator) who makes a legally binding decision based on the evidence presented. This course of action to settle disputes tends to be cheaper than going through the courts, remains private and confidential and still results in a legally enforceable decision.
Mediation is a popular form of dispute or conflict resolution where a skilled mediator tries to negotiate between the parties to reach a satisfactory conclusion for both. The mediator’s role is to encourage communication between the two parties, foresee potential obstacles and form strategies for overcoming them to reach a resolution. Mediation can be used to solve disputes which arise from a number of different sources – such as conflict at work, divorce or family law matters. The aim of this process is to reach a settlement between the parties without having to go to court proceedings. Mediation is voluntary, more cost effective and has a flexible approach which is why it is such a popular option.
Sometimes conciliation may also be considered, where an experienced negotiator will be appointed to hear both sides of the argument from both parties separately, and help the individuals or companies concerned come to an agreement themselves without involving the courts. This type of alternative dispute resolution is common for employer-employee conflicts, and is usually the stage before the employee takes their claim to a tribunal. Acting primarily as a sort of peacemaker, the conciliator cannot make decisions on behalf of either party – their role is to encourage communications and help both parties explore possible solutions to the problem.