For disputes between two individuals, companies or organizations, legal action is often thought of as the natural conclusion. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case.
Starting court proceedings and choosing to resolve a case through the legal system isn’t always the best solution. Most disputes can be resolved outside of a court and there are many reasons for this.
Often, the parties involved realize the time it takes to resolve a dispute this way and the financial burden that comes with it is more costly than an out-of-court settlement.
If you’re looking to resolve a dispute, consider your options before opting for the legal route. Think about whether your case is worth the time, effort and expense it will probably require.
Expense and Time
Many court cases last close to two years in duration. It is crucial to remember this when weighing up the options to resolve a dispute.
Consider the time that resolving a dispute through litigation will take and the repercussions of this on your life. You may find yourself heavily involved in the case and be required to attend the courthouse regularly throughout the case.
Aside from the time commitments that come with the case itself, it’s also essential to consider the time it takes for a case to go to trial after being filed. You will probably wait several months before a hearing takes place, so if you want your dispute resolved quickly, this isn’t an ideal solution.
Additionally, with time comes money, costs will start to build as soon as you file for litigation and continue to do so throughout the litigation process. Depending on the content of your dispute and the complications that may arise throughout the proceedings, costs can be considerably higher than expected.
Taking your dispute to court should be a last resort if you’re looking for a cost-effective and time-efficient resolution.
Resolution Methods To Consider
Aside from litigation, there are two main resolution routes to consider. These are both efficient ways to resolve disputes without the costs and lengthy process that come with litigation.
Mediation and Arbitration are effective methods of resolution and should always be considered in the first instance.
It’s essential to keep in mind that only a small percentage of disputes ever make it to court, which highlights how effective other forms of resolution are.
Mediation is the most time-efficient form of resolution. If both parties are willing to be reasonable with one another, the dispute can be resolved in a noticeably short space of time.
Mediation works well as it allows both parties to be heard by an unrelated third party that mediates a discussion and negotiation to encourage a resolution.
Mediation can also be required in some cases before a dispute will be heard by a court. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consider mediation as your first option.
Arbitration is often the next option for many that are unable to resolve a dispute through mediation. As mediation does not have a legally binding outcome, arbitration can be a good way to create a binding agreement in a less-formal setting.
Arbitration is similar to mediation but involves one (or several) third parties hearing a case via evidence from the two parties involved in the dispute. The third party is referred to as the “arbitrator”, it is the arbitrator’s job to determine the outcome of the case.
This resolution method is similar to a case that is heard by a judge but is less formal and doesn’t involve a public trial.
Litigation should be avoided if your goal is to resolve your case quickly and with minimal costs. The litigation process is made up of many complex stages that require teams of legal professionals to navigate.
Always consider whether your dispute is worth taking to court. Consider the time and expense that can come with litigation to resolve a dispute that may be resolvable in another manner.
If you find it difficult to determine which is the best resolution method for you, seeking advice from a law firm or personal attorney is recommended. You can always contact us at Mellor for assistance in many fields of litigation, or to get in contact with a riverside attorney.