Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods in DC Civil Litigation Cases

Though many contract disputes are resolved through civil litigation proceedings, the two parties can avoid a trial by instead engaging in alternative dispute resolution methods. There are two main procedures that are typically used to avoid litigation, known as mediation and arbitration.

These processes can be formal or informal and binding or non-binding. Additionally, they can involve a range of scenarios, from the two parties sitting down face-to-face in a meeting to resolve their disputes to engaging a third party to give a judgement or help broker a deal between the parties. When deciding between alternative dispute resolution methods in DC civil litigation cases, it is wise to consult with a well-practiced attorney from the area.

Resolving Civil Litigation Cases by Mediation

Mediation is a form of contract dispute negotiation, where a third party is given the authority to help the two parties in a dispute come to an agreement. This method diffuses the conflict in these often-tense situations and helps both parties reach a middle ground. Anyone can serve as a mediator, though it may be beneficial to have an experienced professional who is seen as an authority figure serve in this role. For example, a seasoned attorney who has extensive knowledge in the dispute’s subject area could be a good choice.

This process often is an effective method to bring the two parties together, while also being less expensive and time-consuming than full-blown mitigation. Additionally, this alternative helps conflicting parties in DC civil litigation cases avoid the public specter of a major lawsuit. A local attorney could make the mediation process run as smoothly as possible through diligent preparation needed to build a compromise between opposing sides.

What is an Arbitration Resolution Method?

Arbitration differs from mediation in that it is essentially a mini-trial where a chosen arbitrator serves as a judge who make a decision after hearing both sides. This alternative resolution method is often chosen if the contract being disputed includes an arbitration clause, which states that the only entity with jurisdiction over the dispute is the arbitrator, prior to going to trial.

There is also usually some form of abbreviated discovery and expression before the trial period. Then the arbitrator, often a retired judge or senior attorney, will try the case and issue a binding ruling on the dispute. This alternative dispute resolution method, like mediation, is cheaper, quicker, and more private than pursuing full civil litigation in the District. Parties who choose arbitration to resolve their contract issues will still get some of the same elements as a full trial, but without the added hassle.

A DC Attorney Could Advise You Regarding the Best Alternative Dispute Resolution Method

There are many real benefits that come from pursuing an alternative dispute resolution method in a DC civil litigation case. Whether you choose to engage in mediation or arbitration, you may be able to avoid a lengthy and expensive lawsuit entirely by reaching a settlement early on. Both of these methods could allow you to have productive negotiations with the other party and potentially reach a compromise. A skilled local lawyer could address any questions or concerns you have about either alternative resolution method. Call today to learn more.