March 04, 2014

Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Wisconsin

written by Lane Fitzgerald


Depending on the particular legal problem you’re encountering, you may be looking for a way to settle the matter without the expenses and stresses of a formal court case.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has become a popular option for parties who wish to avoid court proceedings and instead, settle the matter cooperatively. Unlike a traditional court case which can result in significant penalties, losses and ill will between those involved, ADR is a solution that can often leave both sides feeling more satisfied in a negotiated outcome.


If you’re curious as to which kind of disputes lend themselves to alternative settlement resolutions, the practice can be used in a wide variety of applications such as:


Business disputes, property disputes, family disputes such as divorce and child support matters, consumer disputes, employment disputes, landlord disputes, and personal injury matters are all commonly dealt with though alternative means.


What does an ADR process entail?



There are three primary forms of ADR parties can elect to engage in depending on the problem:


Mediation involves a neutral moderator acting impartially to help both sides come to an agreement on their own terms. They do not hand down a ruling like a judge, but rather help to foster effective communication between two parties who often find themselves in a position where they intend on continuing a relationship after the matter is resolved. This is commonly used for civil cases.


Arbitration is a method by which a neutral arbitrator hears arguments and collects evidence much like a traditional court proceeding before handing down a decision to resolve the dispute. Although this is very similar to what a judge does during a court case, arbitration is cheaper, quicker, and less formal than going to court.


Case Evaluation involves a neutral evaluator providing an opinion on the merits of each side’s arguments and evidence. Each side presents their case and hears the other side and can either lead to a settlement or prepare each side to handle the matter another way in the future. This is most helpful when parties are confused about technical aspects of a case or are not confident in their arguments.


What are the advantages of ADR?




There are five major advantages of ADR that make it a more attractive and realistic alternative to a traditional court case.

1. ADR proceedings are almost always faster than taking a case to trial. While court proceedings can often draw out a case over the span of weeks, months, or even years, a typical ADR process can be started and finished in just days or weeks at most. This makes it a viable option for those who simply can’t devote the time to a trial.

2. Alternative Dispute Resolutions in Wisconsin are often far less expensive than taking a case to court. Without attorney’s fees, expert fees, and court fees, this option is more cost effective than court.

3. ADR allows for more personal participation. Both parties can voice their arguments and tell their side of the story in a more informal setting.

4. Lastly, this method is usually less stressful than formal litigation. Those who opt for ADR report higher satisfaction than those who put themselves through court proceedings


As a last note, it’s important to remember that the selection of the neutral is a very important decision. Here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm, you’ll receive an attorney who is a Certified Mediator, a Certified Arbitrator and a Certified Family Mediator/Expeditor to ensure your situation is handled professionally and completely neutrally.


At The Fitzgerald Law Firm your initial consultation is always free and you will always meet directly with one of our attorneys. We understand that appointments during traditional working hours may not be convenient for all, and thus we strive to be available for evening, weekend, and off-site appointments. To schedule your FREE consultation, Contact Us now.

Photo credit: francois


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