Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an excellent choice for resolving contract disputes outside of a courtroom. With ADR, the parties involved in the dispute have the option of negotiating a resolution that is agreeable to both parties. Common forms of ADR include mediation and arbitration. Both of these options allow the individuals involved in the dispute, and their attorneys, the ability to privately discuss the contract and dispute, and find an agreeable outcome. Unlike a trial, mediation is not conducted before public spectators, the media, or uninvolved parties. With mediation, the mediator serves as a guide, but does not have decision-making power, unless the case moves into arbitration with an agreement that the mediator serve as the arbitrator.
ADR is an excellent option when both parties want to continue a working business relationship after the dispute is resolved. With the help of a skilled mediator, contract disputes can be resolved in a manner that is much more cost effective and timely than civil litigation. In addition to the benefits for clients, ADR is also beneficial for applicable attorneys. By collaborating with a skilled mediator, attorneys have more flexibility and spend less time fleshing out the issues of the dispute when their time can be better applied to the resolution itself.
In addition to mediation and arbitration, ADR may also include fact-finding, structured settlement processes, and a summary trial. In most cases, it is beneficial to attempt to resolve the conflict through mediation first before moving on to more invasive processes.