Dispute resolution is an alternative to litigation and can be tried before action is taken through the court. It is used as a way of resolving conflicts between parties such as individual citizens, businesses, and government agencies. Dispute resolution involves things such as pre-action discussions, mediation, and arbitration. There are several reasons why you would try dispute resolution before litigation.
Litigation can cost a great deal of money, even if it is a case between two individuals. Litigation costs vary depending on what the litigation is for. However, it is usually accepted that if dispute resolution works, this method works out a lot cheaper, so it is worth trying first.
It can take many months or even years for the litigation process to be completed. This can be very stressful and time-consuming. It could involve taking time off work to go through the court procedure and there is no guarantee at the end of it that you will reach a conclusion that you are happy with. Dispute resolution can be a much shorter process, especially if the parties involved are keen to reach a satisfactory conclusion in a timely manner.
Dispute resolution can be a confidential process. However, litigation is not a private matter as you will have to attend a public court and the outcome will be published. This can damage your reputation or the reputation of your business whether you win or lose your case. This could mean losing clients in a business dispute or harm your employment prospects in the future, and it could have a huge financial impact on you even if you win your case.
In a litigation case, there must be a winner and a loser, which means that tempers are running high during and after the case. However, this is not the case with dispute resolution as it can result in both parties reaching a compromise they are both happy with, which can help to preserve the relationship. This is important with issues such as family or neighborhood disputes because you may still have to have some sort of relationship with the opposing side afterward. In the interests of living in harmony, it can often be better to try dispute resolution first.
The outcome can be more flexible in a dispute resolution than with litigation, which tends to be very black and white. This could be important to you if want to get an apology or an explanation at the end of the case or if you want to bring about a change in policy in relation to a business or product you are disputing.
You Can Still Seek Legal Advice
An alternative dispute resolution can still be managed by a legal professional, so you are not alone even if you are not litigating. They can help and advise you and work with you to provide everything from written correspondence with the other party involved, acting as a mediator, and finding the best tailor-made resolution for you.
These are six reasons to try dispute resolution before litigation.