What is "Alternative Dispute Resolution?"

There are times in our lives when we have a dispute with someone about something. The dispute could involve our job or business, housing, a contact, a product or service we used, or a family issue. It could also involve a personal injury or other insurance claims.

You will likely first attempt to negotiate a resolution, perhaps on your own. If that fails, your disagreement could end up in court, but some disputes may possibly be resolved using a method of alternative dispute resolution, or “ADR.”

At The Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, we help clients in Nederland and Broomfield, Colorado explore ADR options and help them resolve disputes out of court when possible. When disputes cannot be resolved without appearing in court, we are also tough litigators at trial. Contact us today to learn more about what ADR may be able to do for you.

What is Alternative
Dispute Resolution?

ADR comprises any number of methods used to resolve disputes without litigation.

Litigating legal disputes in court typically requires a substantial investment of time and money for both parties. Furthermore, because the matter is being presented in court, sensitive details may be exposed and become a matter of public record. ADR can take less time, cost less money, and help you keep your business confidential. ADR might also allow you to resolve the issue with less animosity so you can continue to have a relationship with the other party long after the process is completed.

What is Mediation?

Mediation involves a neutral and impartial third party, trained to help parties in a dispute negotiate a settlement agreement.

There are no set rules for mediation. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties to make sure both sides understand the other’s positions and concerns. Each party will often be represented by an attorney who is there to be a legal advocate for them.

Mediation may begin in a joint session where both parties present their opening arguments. Some mediators use joint sessions throughout the entire process. Others meet separately with one party, then the other, conveying evidence and information back and forth until the parties reach an agreement.

If the parties agree to a settlement during mediation, the mediator will draft a written agreement to be signed by both parties.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is more like court, requiring both sides to present evidence and argue their cases to an impartial arbiter or a panel of arbiters. Arbitration can be binding (with the parties agreeing in advance to abide by the arbiter’s decision) or non-binding (meaning the decision is only binding if accepted by both parties).

As with mediation, each party may want to retain an attorney to help guide their presentation of evidence and make their arguments.

Like a trial, each party makes opening statements and presents evidence and arguments to the arbiter. Unlike a trial, the normal rules of evidence do not apply, and the arbiter can base decisions on information other than strict governing law. Upon completion of the arguments, the arbiter will render an opinion.

What is Med-Arb?

“Med-Arb” is a combination of mediation and arbitration. The same impartial person acts as a mediator, facilitating communication and negotiation, then as an arbiter, rendering a decision that can be either binding or non-binding.

How Attorneys Can Help

If you have a dispute with another individual or entity and you are unable to reach a mutual agreement via informal negotiation, litigation is not your only option. ADR is a useful and often effective alternative to settling your dispute with a judge and jury in open court.

If you have a dispute, it is a wise decision to consult with attorneys who are experienced in business law, contracts, personal injury, product liability, consumer law, real estate law, and civil litigation, depending on the nature of your dispute. An attorney can help you explore potential ADR options then guide you through the process of resolving your dispute.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys Serving Nederland & Broomfield, Colorado

At The Law Office of Daniel T. Goodwin, we help clients navigate disputes of different types every single day. We have offices in Nederland and Broomfield, Colorado, and serve communities of the surrounding Front Range areas and the Peak-to-Peak region. If you are struggling with a legal dispute, we may be able to help. Call us now for a consultation.


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