Business people shake hands while negotiating a business deal.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Robinson Bradford LLP  Sept. 30, 2022

Contrary to popular belief, most business disputes do not go to trial. If your business is facing a dispute, litigation may not be the only option to resolve it. You may be able to resolve your dispute with the help of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.   

If you do not understand your options for resolving disputes, you may need to seek the guidance of an experienced business law attorney. Our team of attorneys at Robinson Bradford LLP can evaluate your situation to help you decide on the best course of action in your case. Also, we pride ourselves on guiding our clients towards success. We represent clients with all types of alternative dispute resolution options and litigation in Stockton, California, as well as Temecula and Costa Mesa.   

What Is Alternative
Dispute Resolution (ADR)?  

Alternative dispute resolution refers to methods that allow the parties to resolve disputes less formally outside of the courtroom. As the name implies, ADR methods are an alternative to litigation. When resolving a dispute through ADR, parties to a dispute work with a neutral third party (a mediator) to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution or let a neutral decision-maker (an arbitrator) make a legally binding decision for them.  

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provides a forum for the parties to a dispute to work out a voluntary agreement without having a judge to decide for them. ADR methods are commonly used to resolve both employment and business disputes.  

Common Alternative
Dispute Resolution Methods 

Three of the more commonly used alternative dispute resolution methods are: 

  1. Mediation. This ADR method allows the parties to work with a neutral, third-party mediator to resolve their dispute. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties to a dispute to help them reach a voluntary and mutually acceptable agreement. However, the mediator does not make the decision for the parties.  

  1. Arbitration. This ADR method is slightly different from mediation. The parties refer their dispute to an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators who apply the law to the facts of the dispute and make a legally binding decision for the parties. Unlike mediators, who do not have decision-making power, arbitrators can decide the case when the parties cannot agree on their own.  

  1. Med-Arb. Med-Arb is a hybrid ADR method that combines mediation and arbitration processes. As the name implies, the parties first agree to mediate their dispute. If their attempts to resolve the dispute through mediation fail, their case will proceed to arbitration, where an arbitrator will make a binding decision for the parties.  

If you are not sure which ADR method to choose to resolve your dispute, you must contact a knowledgeable attorney to explore your options. Our business law attorneys at Robinson Bradford LLP help businesses in Stockton, Temecula, and Costa Mesa resolve their disputes through ADR methods or litigation, depending on the facts of the dispute and the parties’ willingness to negotiate.   

What Are the Benefits of ADR? 

There are many benefits of choosing alternative dispute resolution over litigation, including but not limited to: 

  • Cost. ADR methods such as mediation and arbitration are generally much more cost-effective compared to taking a dispute to trial.  

  • Time. Litigation can be extremely time-consuming when resolving business disputes. ADR is generally quicker than going to court. Depending on the complexity of the dispute, the litigation proceedings could last for months or years.  

  • Disruption. Pending litigation can disrupt your business operations in different ways. Choosing ADR methods, on the other hand, is generally less disruptive.  

  • Publicity. Litigation is public, which means your business and its operations will be subject to public scrutiny. ADR methods such as mediation and arbitration are private forms of dispute resolution.  

Even if your business dispute does not go to court, you still need an attorney to protect your interests and help you navigate the dispute resolution process.   

Discover Your Options  

The business law attorneys at Robinson Bradford LLP recognize that business disputes are sometimes best resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration. ADR methods are generally less expensive and time-consuming and bring less disruption to businesses. Get a free consultation today to discuss the available ADR methods in your particular case. Our team has the knowledge, resources, and experience necessary to assist your specific situation in Stockton, California, as well as Temecula and Costa Mesa.