Litigation is expensive. It is costly in terms of financial commitment, time commitment and personnel commitment. One of the ways to stem the costs of litigation is to utilize arbitration as an alternative to litigation. Subject to contractual terms, arbitrations are every bit as binding as litigation. However, the process is less formal than full blown court proceedings. For example, the availability of discovery may be limited and the Rules of Evidence may be relaxed. This allows the proceedings to move along at a faster pace, without the complications of multiple motions, follow up hearings and discovery battles that can bog a litigation matter in quicksand.
Arbitrations can also reduce the cost of litigation by setting a set time, place and arbitrator to hear a dispute and render a decision. The burden is placed on the parties to prepare their evidence, submit the proof to the arbitrator, who may decide the matter in one sitting. Once a decision has been rendered by the arbitrator, the decision can then be enforced through the courts.
Arbitrations are more expensive to file, up front. But, the costs are capped, so that you will have a clear idea of the entire cost of the proceeding. If you are a creditor that employs arbitration clauses in your contracts, GLF has many years of practice enforcing such clauses in arbitration and through the courts. We are here to assist.
By far, the most effective form of Alternative Dispute Resolution is mediation. In a mediation, the parties to the dispute meet with a third-party mediator who is neutral to both sides. The job of the mediator is to hear both sides of the controversy, and to work with both parties to effectuate an amicable settlement of the case. Mediations are highly successful in resolving cases; so much so, that mediation is often a requirement before parties may proceed to trial. The courts have found that the vast majority of parties that engage in good faith mediation resolve their controversies without need of a trial.
Unlike an arbitration, when parties come together to mediate a dispute, the results are not binding on the parties, unless the parties resolve the matter. Thus, if the mediation is unsuccessful, the parties are not bound by anything that was shared during the mediation and nothing shared may be entered in evidence by either party in the ongoing litigation. In the event of a resolution of the case, the terms of the resolution are written down in a binding agreement which is then filed with the court. This Mediation Agreement effectively ends the case. Either party may enforce a breach of the Mediation Agreement in the court where it is pending.
GLF recommends mediation as a highly effective way of resolving litigated disputes. In litigating thousands of contested matters, we’ve found that mediation is a swift, relatively low cost avenue for litigation work outs. If you have a pending litigation and would like to discuss how we may be able to position your file for mediation, let’s talk about it.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
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