When most people think of lawsuits, they think of courtrooms, judges, and fancy courthouses. To some extent, this may be accurate. But this isn’t always the case. Alternatives to made for TV courtroom drama are available in willing parties. These alternatives include alternative dispute resolution, or “ADR” for short. This article is aimed at providing you a brief introduction to ADR, and why it should matter to you.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to a group of procedures outside the traditional judicial process. ADR refers to mediation, arbitration, and private judges, generally. An ADR process can be similar to that found in a typical courtroom, or not. While no ADR procedure is necessarily the same as another, chances are that there may be one right for your case.
History of ADR
As our population increases, the need for legal services is expanding. This has been especially true in more litigious parts of the world. As a result, there has is more pressure placed on the judicial system. Because of this pressure for legal services, Court dockets have become overburdened.
ADR is a response to an overburdened court system. There is very little a party can do to speed up a case in a slow courtroom. ADR allows parties to seek a fair resolution without waiting for a court.
Benefits of ADR
Alternative Dispute Resolution, where appropriate, can help quickly resolve a great number of legal actions. Whether the issue is a contract claim, property dispute, complex business matter, or any number of other cases, ADR may provide an efficient and effective path to resolution. Furthermore, ADR may lend more predictability to procedures. ADR may also serve to encourage parties to figure out their disagreements in an amicable manner. Finally, ADR, when appropriately employed, can help reduce the total cost of legal disputes.
Beyond the considerations of cost, predictability, uniformity, and expeditiousness, there are other benefits to be gained through ADR. Arguably the most important among those extra benefits is the ability to involve individuals with various types of expertise. For example, in a legal action involving complex technical subject matter, one may seek to involve someone with expertise in the field. This expertise will help resolve the dispute more fairly.
Our courts are overburdened. Alternative Dispute Resolution, in all its forms, is a legitimate and useful tool for fairly and quickly resolving disputes. Depending on the issues in your family law case, ADR may or may not help. But it’s almost always worth the effort. If you are in the midst of a legal battle, take the time to consult with an attorney about your case. At Modern Family Law, we specialize in family law, and we have the experience needed to effectively advocate through ADR. If you need the assistance of an attorney, please call us today for a consultation with one of our attorneys, at no cost to you.