Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The Need for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

As in every legal dispute, the ultimate culmination of the litigation process is a trial, commonly by a jury. In a trial by jury, members of the community get to decide whose claims prevail. However, very often, disagreements are resolved by other means short of a formal jury trial. The reason for this is that often the cost, time delay, publicity, and lack of control concerning the outcome makes a jury trial a less than desirable option. Alternative means of resolution are available to settle disputes in such instances. Today, it is even possible that when an agreement is initially reached between two parties, there will be a clause allowing for, or even mandating alternative dispute resolution. Some of the most common alternative methods of dispute resolution include:

  • Arbitration - one or more neutral third parties are selected to hear evidence and ultimately the third party renders a binding decision that must be followed. A dispute goes to arbitration if ordered by a court if the parties agree. The costs for arbitration are usually shared.
  • Mediation - one or more neutral third parties are selected to assist in reaching a resolution for the parties in dispute. A mediator does not usually have the power to impose a decision, but only to provide aid in getting to a resolution. The parties in dispute retain control over the entire process and result.
  • Negotiation - discussions between the parties with the aid of their attorneys to reach some sort of resolution prior to trial. Takes place in all aspects of litigation and all other methods of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Mini-"Trial" - a hearing that usually takes place in front of a neutral third party agreed to by both sides. A representative with decision-making authority is expected to be present from both sides. Ultimately, as in mediation, the parties in dispute retain control over the outcome. However, with a mini-trial the sides can begin to see their case as it would be presented and find creative solutions to solve the dispute.
  • Summary Jury "Trial" - private proceeding in front of a judge and a selected jury. The parties can agree that the decision of the jury is binding; otherwise the decision will be non-binding and will give both sides insight into the strength of their case. Negotiation and mediation usually follows to resolve the dispute.
Typically the mini-trial and summary jury trial alternative dispute resolution options are used more rarely because of the additional costs of conducting a short "trial". However, these methods are still less expensive than going through the traditional litigation process since many of the discovery and motion issues are rather limited during alternative dispute resolution.

Our Alternative Dispute Resolution Services

When used correctly and in the appropriate circumstances, ADR can radically reduce the amount of time, cost, and other resources needed to resolve a dispute by focusing the parties on the key issues in dispute and limiting or eliminating discovery and unnecessary motion practice. It also provides the client with a measure of control and predictability by getting the client more involved in the dispute resolution process. The attorneys of Theta Law Firm, LLP make sure that clients come first. We understand the objectives of our clients and work hard to find the best possible methodologies and creative solutions to meet those objectives. We work with our clients to implement various alternative resolution methods to save our clients time, money and anxiety that comes along with litigation.

At the same time, we also understand that not all disputes can be resolved with alternative dispute resolution and that is why we at Theta Law Firm, LLP are experienced in all aspects of litigation and are ready to work for our clients on a strategy that best benefits them.