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Litigation Alternatives

Sometimes, as we've noted, people just cannot get along. Sometimes, the best solution to those disputes may be litigation.More often than not, however, there are superior methods of resolving disputes.

Recently, an increasing amount of attention has been given to alternative dispute resolution, which can take many forms. Oftentimes, these alternatives are faster, cheaper and less divisive than litigation. Sometimes, in fact, alternative dispute resolution can increase, rather than decrease, community harmony.

One alternative to litigation involves arbitration. Arbitration is a process whereby the parties hire a third party to consider, evaluate and decide the outcome of a dispute. Unlike litigation, arbitration usually involves a decision maker who is selected and hired by the parties. Generally, arbitration is quicker than litigation, and in many cases, arbitration can be less expensive than litigation. For this reason, many of our clients request that arbitration be established in their governing documents as the means for resolution of disputes.

Another alternative to litigation, and one which we think should always be seriously considered in connection with virtually all disputes, is mediation. Mediation is a process in which parties attempt to reach a mutually acceptable solution to a problem with the assistance of a neutral third party. Unlike litigation where a judge makes a decision, mediation is a process that empowers parties with information and allows them to make decisions based on their interests, needs and objectives.