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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution is the legal process which allows disagreeing parties to reach an agreement. Alternative dispute resolution describes the way that parties can settle disagreements. This resolution technique has gained acceptance with the public as well as the legal profession in recent years. Some courts now require specific cases to resort to this type of resolution before they see a judge. Alternative dispute resolution is gaining popularity due to the increase caseload of traditional courts. It has fewer costs and lets parties have greater control over which individual will decide their dispute.

Alternative dispute resolution is classified into four different categories depending the the situation of each case. These categories are as followed, negotiation, mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. The benefits of the resolution process are extensive. These benefits include suitable for disputes that involve more than one party, flexibility of the agreement procedure, lower cost than a court settlement, quick settlement times and generally the preservation of relationships through face to face mediation.

Alternative dispute resolution is used in many different types of law. It is used alongside mediation in family law as well as to resolve civil lawsuits. This resolution cannot be used in more serious criminal cases however. In cases which require a jury to decide whether the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt alternative dispute resolution is not suitable.  

Categories within Alternative Dispute Resolution


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Mediation is a way to resolve a dispute with a third party mediator present.


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Negotiation is when two or more people discuss the problem with the understanding that they will reach a resolution.


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Arbitration is where the disputers refer to an arbitrator or arbitrators to make a decision on the dispute.

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