When business or interpersonal conflicts arise, emotions often control the circumstances. Feelings about an issue can affect how the parties involved will respond, making it increasingly difficult for both parties to find a compromise that works.
All too often, people assume that litigation is the only solution for a serious conflict. Before you go to court, you may want to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems like mediation and arbitration, a choice that could give you three distinct and noteworthy benefits:
1. ADR is typically more private than litigation
California law recognizes the importance of confidentiality during dispute resolution outside of the court system.
Mediation is confidential under state law, as is arbitration in most cases unless a contract between the parties says otherwise. What you say in these sessions will not become public record the way that everything you say in court will.
2. ADR can preserve your relationship with the other party
Whether the dispute is about the placement of a fence that your neighbor wants to install that you think encroaches on your property or an issue with a vendor who hasn’t delivered supplies to your company, litigation could permanently alter your relationship.
Even if you win, you may lose at the same time because that relationship could break beyond repair. ADR gives you a chance to compromise and talk things out. Mediation or arbitration could be the system that helps you fix the relationship with the other party without giving up your rights.
3. ADR is usually more cost-effective
While you will still need a lawyer with you for mediation or arbitration, the process can be faster and a lot cheaper than going to court. You won’t have court costs to worry about, and many people find that they can resolve their issue in a single session if everyone commits to resolving the problem.
Getting good help as you strategize for mediation or arbitration can make it easier for you to solve your issue without completely giving up your own rights.