ADR is the common abbreviation for alternative dispute resolution. ADR can not only deliver you a solution while saving you the cost and time associated with civil litigation, but it can give you more of a voice. Appeals aside, when a judge makes a decision, it's final. There is no room for further discussion or negotiation. In non-binding arbitration and mediation, you are not locked into anything.
Before we dive deeper into ADR, we should get a common question out of the way: If an arbitrator or a mediator is neutral, why do I need an attorney? At Hamilton Law, we like to point out that judges are impartial too, but you likely wouldn't want to go into a courtroom without legal counsel. The same applies to ADR. You will be forced to make decisions in real-time, and your attorney is there to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
What Is Arbitration?
The most significant difference between arbitration and mediation is that arbitration removes your ability to negotiate and renegotiate. When two parties disagree, their attorneys (if they wisely sought legal counsel) present their arguments and supporting evidence to the arbitrator. The arbitrator decides the outcome based on what they have heard and seen.
Michigan allows for binding and non-binding arbitration. By entering into binding arbitration, both sides are formally waiving their right to appeal the arbitrator's decision, and they will not be able to take the issue to trial. Non-binding arbitration does not have these restrictions.
Unlike arbitration, a mediator is a neutral third party whose job centers on facilitation. They are there to help the pirates come to a mutually agreed-upon resolution. The mediator takes the time to listen to both sides and identifies where the problem areas are. When you go to mediation, you may not even have to be in the same room with the person you disagree with. All of your communication is done through the mediator, which may decrease the potential for arguments and digressions.
Nothing says both parties can't be in the same room, however. Mediators can listen to both sides and then make a recommendation for a possible compromise. Not only is mediation non-binding, but you can also opt to walk away at any point.
Hamilton Law Offers Alternative Dispute Resolution
Regardless of how complicated your dispute is, alternative dispute resolution can effectively resolve it. Schedule a consultation at our Kalamazoo office to learn more about Hamilton Law's ADR services. We look forward to learning how we can help.