What is the best forum to resolve disputes?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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With the rise of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options, parties to a legal dispute are no longer limited to dispute resolutions such as an openly public and expensive traditional court system (litigation). Modernly, parties can also choose from options such as mediation and arbitration for dispute resolution. The type of dispute resolution chosen will depend on the type and complexity of the case.

Dispute Resolution and Family Law

Hands down, mediation is the best place to resolve family law disputes. Certified mediators are able to handle everything from adoption paperwork to divorce settlements. Best of all, some mediators will even offer to travel to your home, ensuring there is no inconvenience for either party. In family law cases, the certified mediator will then give the parties a formal mediation agreement from which you can draft and file the necessary paperwork for the court.

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Dispute Resolution and Merchant Law

If you’ve ever been in business, you know that dissatisfied customers are a common problem. Instead of sweating the possibility of being sued over every incident where you say no to a customer, place an arbitration agreement in the customer’s contract and argue the case in arbitration. Arbitration is an informal proceeding where arbitration lawyers can enact the case similar to how it would play out in court and will receive a suggested award amount. If it was binding arbitration, that is the amount that must be paid.

Dispute Resolution and Medical Malpractice

Many doctors have already discovered the advantages of arbitration to keep their costs down. In fact, the next time you go to the doctor’s office or hospital, take a look at the medical contract you sign. Most likely, you will see a mandatory arbitration clause in the contract. That’s because mandatory arbitration offers a private and less expensive forum for the plaintiff’s case to be heard and decided. And don’t worry, arbitration is still heard by a judge, so the decision is the same as what you would have received in litigation. 

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