Traditionally, dispute resolution is effected through the relevant court having jurisdiction over the matter.  This can entail delays, as our court rolls are very full. Fortunately, disputes can still be settled formally without undergoing the expense of a trial.

We always consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as the first possible step in any dispute and conflict resolution scenario, especially if the parties have a contract that provides in detail how and when ADR should or could proceed.  (Another reason to see your attorney BEFORE you sign any contracts).

This can be an appealing option for all parties, ADR encompasses the processes of resolving legal disputes as alternatives to the traditional time consuming and costly court litigation processes.

An ADR Process That Works for Your Dispute

ADR includes different mechanisms or processes to resolve disputes instead of proceeding with court litigation.

There are various methods of alternative dispute resolution in business, namely mediation, arbitration, and facilitation.

 

Mediation

The mediator helps parties to discuss their disputes in a controlled and safe environment to find mutually agreed solutions. The disputes usually involve legal issues, but the mediator does not decide the outcome.  The goal of the mediation is to try to find a win/win solution if possible and allows more room to be creative with solutions rather than the traditional win/lose court model.

 

Arbitration

Your attorney will represent you at the Arbitration and lead your case before the arbitrator.  The arbitrator listens to parties’ conflicting versions in a dispute and decides on how it will be resolved. This is similar to a court procedure but it’s less formal, more flexible, and usually much quicker.  The arbitrator makes a win/lose decision-based on the merits of both party’s evidence.

 

Facilitation

The facilitator helps to resolve problems between people usually involving dysfunctional inter-personal or working relationships. The facilitation can be between two parties or amongst multi-parties.

 

What Are the Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

The common primary advantage is that ADR is usually much quicker and can be (in the long run) a less costly way of resolving disputes compared to court litigation.

 

What Are the Disadvantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution services are usually provided by professionals in private practice for a fee.

The parties usually agree to share the costs of the ADR practitioner equally. This is unlike the usual court process, where each party pays only their own attorney and the services of the Judge or Magistrate are provided by the state.

However, the shared costs of ADR processes are usually much less than the costs of legal fees in protracted court litigation.  In our opinion, the value and speed of an ADR produced solution to a dispute far outweighs the costs of the ADR service provider.

We will help you make an informed decision on the merits of participating in an ADR process before agreeing to do so. This includes information to make a cost-benefit analysis of whether to opt for ADR instead of court-based litigation.

 

Want to know more?  Contact Charmaine Schwenn : charmaine@schwenninc.co.za : 031-0030630