If you don’t want to face the court’s lengthy legal procedures to resolve a dispute, then opting for ADR could be a way out. ADR stands for alternate dispute resolution. As the name suggests, ADR is an alternative method to settle disputes outside of court. However, both are different processes typically intervened by a facilitated third party. So, if you’re wondering which one you should choose to get the best outcome, we’ll recommend you to evaluate your own needs first closely. But before that, let us take a close look at two of the processes and understand the pros and cons to help you choose between the two.
Strength And Weakness Of Meditation
Mediation is a process that involves an independent third party who mediates the discussion between the two disputing parties. The mediator sits with both parties to listen to each other. The main goal is to identify the real issues to find possible alternatives to resolve the dispute. The process may take single to multiple days, and the parties can adjourn the process if they wish to. The mediator is not a formal judge, but the mediators could be retired judges or other senior lawyers in many cases.
Mediation is all about settling disputes by negotiation. The main intention of the mediator is to find a solution, not to give strict verdicts. Of course, the entire process is confidential, where the possibility of rendering creative solutions is high. But at the same time, if you’re looking to obtain a definite resolution, the process is not for you. Because it’s a voluntary way of negotiation and the mediator is not the judge whose order counts as an ultimatum. Disputing parties should be ready to compromise to some extent. It is possible to have apology letters or explanations through this process.
Pros And Cons Of Arbitration
Arbitration is a stricter version of mediation where disputing parties must undergo a trial-like procedure to have definite conclusions. In arbitration, an arbitrator facilitates the discussion but possesses the supreme authority to deliver any strict verdict. The parties are bound to follow the decisions taken by arbitrators. The third party or arbitrator can ask for evidence and witnesses to the parties because he/she has to come to a decision.
As the alternative process is equivalent to a court trial, you might need an advocate or lawyer to assist you in putting the case before the arbitrator effectively. Though over the years, the arbitration process has slowed down significantly, it still can be considered a faster alternative to litigation or trial. Losing in arbitration may hurt your pocket as the arbitrator can order you to pay a hefty sum of money to the opposition party.
Choosing Between Two
So the question remains the same, which one should you choose. Well, you need to consider a few aspects while choosing between mediation and arbitration. You should base your considerations on a few important factors, such as your affordability, relation with the opposition, the gravity of your case, etc.
Comparing the cost of the two procedures is the first thing you should take into consideration. This is probably a concern for most people, as we tend to go for the cheaper version. Of course, ADR is usually cheaper than a lawsuit, but everything depends on individual cases. Mediation is generally safe because third parties or mediators can’t force you to pay any hooping monetary amount that an arbitrator can. But the chances are high when it comes to obtaining a definite resolution. Mediation is cost-effective, but getting a resolution is not guaranteed.
Get your priorities correct. Do you want money or an unconditional apology? If you’re going to go with the former option, then arbitration is the best way out, while for the latter, mediation is effective. But remember, the way to get a resolution through arbitration is stressful. You might have to wait for a long time.
On the other hand, the mediation process is flexible. You can stop it anytime you want. Also, you may get a resolution if you’re ready to compromise.
Analyze Your Case
This is utterly important for you if you’re going for arbitration. As mentioned earlier, the process is more like a lawsuit, so analyzing your case is as important as filing a court lawsuit. If you have strong evidence and witnesses against your claim, then go for arbitration.
Once you make a decision, look for an arbitrator or mediator according to your needs. The court-approved third party individuals are the best one to appoint. Another important aspect is to choose a mediator or arbitrator who’s specialist in resolving the issues you’re dealing with.