During a business dispute, you can choose to go to court or to solve the dispute through other means. Alternate dispute resolution allows you to skip the trial and judge entirely.
According to the California courts, alternate dispute resolution provides a less formal and expensive route to typical litigation.
In a neutral evaluation, all parties have a chance to present their case to a neutral party named the evaluator. The evaluator presents his or her opinion based on arguments. Generally, the evaluator should be someone with expertise in the dispute’s subject matter.
Often, professionals use neutral evaluation in disputes that involve technical issues.
An arbitrator is also a neutral person. He or she hears arguments and looks at evidence from both sides of the dispute. You have a choice between going through binding or nonbinding arbitration. In a binding agreement, you cannot appeal the decision of your arbitrator. However, in nonbinding arbitration, you can request a trial.
If you and the other party want another person to settle the dispute and chooser an outcome without a trial, you may want to choose arbitration.
In mediation, the impartial person helps you and the other party settle the dispute. Meditation involves coming to a mutual agreement with the other parties involved. You and the other parties communicate and make the final decision, but the mediator can help you learn to communicate better. Mediation works particularly well if you have parties that cannot compromise or cooperate. Mediation also helps when one party has more power than the other.
Alternate dispute resolution may also help a situation become less combative. Sometimes when a case goes in front of a judge, the participants become more hostile towards one another.