When people argue, communications break down. And when this happens, people sometimes decide to sue. By the time a dispute reaches the courtroom, reaching a resolution may have become all but impossible.
To avoid such a scenario, the courts have instituted an alternative which is growing in use. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a group of processes aimed at helping people resolve business and personal disputes without having to go to court. Employers, employees, married individuals, and disabled persons are just a few types of people who may choose ADR rather than a costly, expensive and slow trial as a means of dispute resolution. ADR has proven successful in personal injury cases, products liability cases, routine diversity cases, employment cases, and others. In fact, in St. Louis, Missouri, about 93% of all civil cases are resolved without trial. (http://www.moep.uscourts.gov Fact Sheet)
Why Might ADR Be A Better Choice?
Generally speaking, ADR offers a less formal and less stressful method of dispute resolution, centering on proven tactics of mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation and collaborative law, while eliminating the costs of a full-blown court case and ensuring a speedier settlement. Rather than “leaving it to the lawyers”, all parties must commit to being actively involved in resolving their issues, which can and does lead to solutions which are both creative and satisfying. And, rather than adding yet another layer to a complex process, the St. Louis ADR program is “built into the Court’s Differentiated Case Management System, designed to work in conjunction with the Court’s case management plan”, so that no additional complexities are added to the case.
Can My Attorney Stay Involved?
Because of the ever-growing case burden on U.S. courts, ADR has become a more common practice when people or entities attempt to resolve disputes prior to a trial. The Arbitrator, a neutral person trained to hear arguments and evidence from each side, decides the outcome. The arbitrator’s decision is final in cases of binding arbitration; in non-binding arbitration, parties may choose to go to trial if the arbitrator’s decision is not satisfactory. Attorneys are willing to work with and support their clients to resolve disputes through arbitration. The attorney can help the client to select a ‘neutral’ mediator or can serve as mediator in marital dissolution, custody complaints, changes to court orders, and other cases. Attorney mediators can also work with businesses when the process is mandated by the court to avoid protracted litigation.
At Quinn Estate & Elder Law, our experience has proven ADR to be an affordable, flexible and successful dispute resolution process that saves you time, money, and angst. Call us today to learn more.