Recently, the Daily Report sat down with some alternative dispute resolution [ADR] experts to discuss how ADR can reduce the costs of litigation.
There are three principal types of ADR that are commonly used. Mediations are commonly used for smaller claims such as car accidents or workers’ compensation claims. The mediators help the people involved come to an agreement to settle a case by evaluating the facts. Arbitrations are more commonly used when there is a business transaction involved. In binding arbitration, an arbitrator hears the case and then renders a decision or award. Special master appointments are commonly used for complex cases. In these situations, a special master may hear a case for months.
ADR became popular when the typical case took longer and longer to resolve. On average, a typical case takes about 2-3 years to resolve. Parties have gotten smarter. People do not want to live their lawsuit for years instead of their real life. Why wait 3 years for someone else to resolve the case if we have enough information so we can resolve the case now? ADR is a way to avoid the time, trouble, and expense of the “angst of the litigation process”. It is a way to eliminate the hidden costs of litigation which can include deposition expenses and hours on the phone with your attorney.
In this economy, it is predicted that ADR will become even more popular as litigation budgets are reduced.
At the Ramos Law Firm, our attorneys regulary participate in mediation settlement conferences where we have negotiated complex settlements.