Alternative Dispute Resolutions

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Alternative Dispute Resolutions


August 9th, 2012

Alternative Dispute Resolutions

Alternative dispute resolution is a way of using a third-party mediator to resolve conflict in an organization. There are two forms of alternative dispute resolutions, formal and informal. An informal alternative dispute resolution can take the form of (1) a settlement agreement whereby one party agrees to a payment in exchange for the other party’s promise not to sue, or (2) an agreement to cancel a contract or to revise an existing contract to better reflect the parties’ obligations and needs (Melvin, 2011). A formal alternative dispute resolution can take several different forms; they are arbitration, mediation, expert evaluation, and a hybrid mixture of the three together. The biggest benefit from utilizing an alternative dispute resolution is the savings litigation cost for businesses and individuals. The other benefits of using an alternative dispute resolution are time, relationships between participants, as well as privacy.


An arbitration hearing is the most similar to an actual trial, in the sense that an arbitrator is very similar to a judge and sometimes has the power to subpoena. Like court cases, arbitration hearings have openings statements, witnesses, evidence, and closing arguments, although in a less formal manner (Melvin, 2011). When seeking arbitration parties will submit for an arbitrator through an alternative dispute resolution company, both parties must agree upon the arbitrator before proceeding to the hearing. There are also instances when arbitration is legally mandated, meaning it is required for parties to go through arbitration before their case can proceed to court.


An increasingly more popular alternative dispute resolution is mediation. Mediation is one of the most cost and time efficient methods of dispute resolutions available. Mediators are appointed in the same manner as an arbitrator. Mediation is the...