How is arbitration, mediation, or a lawsuit started?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
The first step in most controversies is to inform the other party that the controversy exists. Attorneys would refer to this as presenting a demand. In the demand, the aggrieved party tells the other party why s/he is responsible for the harm suffered. Some demand letters threaten a lawsuit. Other demand letters set forth the controversy, a proposed resolution, and an offer to submit the controversy to an arbitrator or mediator.
If informal negotiation between the parties fails to yield resolution, the aggrieved party may request that the other parties participate in either arbitration or mediation. Each party can then investigate for him/herself whether arbitration or mediation will satisfy his/her own objectives. If all parties agree, arbitration or mediation will be conducted.
The initial step in alternative dispute resolution is the selection of the arbitrator or mediator. Many professionals now offer their services as arbitrators or mediators and there are companies (such as American Arbitration Association, End Dispute, Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service) organized specifically to assist people resolve controversies. Once the arbitrator or mediator is selected, s/he tells all parties how the matter will proceed.
A lawsuit is started by filing a complaint in a court of law. Rules of civil procedure, whether established by federal, state or local law, and strict court formalities must be followed. Even in filing the complaint, there are strict rules, such as prior presentation of a demand letter, selecting the right court, exhaustion of all potential administrative remedies, and even the type of paper used, the margins and spacing of words on the paper, and the size of type that must be used. An attorney will assist you in adhering to the proper.