California business owners like you want to have a varied toolbox when it comes to dealing with dispute resolution. After all, resolving disputes is not a one-size-fits-all thing. You must craft tailored solutions to each issue you face.
While litigation works for many situations, you may instead benefit from the use of an alternative method.
The benefits of arbitration
FINRA examines two popular alternative dispute resolution methods. One is arbitration and the other is mediation. Arbitration is similar to litigation. You and the other parties select an arbitrator, who has the power to evaluate your case and hand down a legally binding decision. They hold similar power and purpose to a judge.
But arbitration is less costly and time-consuming than litigation. While it can take up to 16 months to get a decision, this is still often less time than a court case takes. Note that if you choose arbitration, you cannot take the same case to court.
How mediation works
Mediation differs in several big ways. First, a mediator does not have the power to make a legally binding decision. Their purpose is to act as a referee. They listen to all parties present their arguments. They examine the facts. Then, they can offer opinions for potential resolutions. They also guide discussions, ensuring that every party gets the chance to say their piece and that tempers do not run wild.
These methods do not work for every case. Sometimes, you need the structure of a trial. But in other situations, one of these options may be right for you.