Select Page

Legal Support for Insurance, Businesses and Individuals

Home » Civil Litigation » Alternative Dispute Resolution

An Easier, Less Costly Way To Settle Disputes

Every case is different, and finding a solution is possible when you put your trust in The Law Firm of Peters & Wasilefski. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a term that refers to settling legal disputes without going to trial. From arbitration and mediation to summary jury trials and moderated settlement conferences, there are several different forms. In general, it is less expensive and time-consuming than traditional litigation.

If you would like to learn more about alternative dispute resolution, contact The Law Firm of Peters & Wasilefski. Our attorneys can answer your questions and help you decide if ADR is a good option for you. Based in Harrisburg, we serve throughout Pennsylvania. You can call us at 717-260-3483 or 866-830-1116, or arrange your appointment online.

Understanding The Different Types Of ADR

In arbitration, each party submits their dispute to a neutral third-party arbitrator who decides the case. It is important to know that arbitration can be binding or nonbinding. If it is binding, that means the arbitrator has the power to render a decision that will be enforced. If it is nonbinding, the arbitrator provides a solution that the parties can either accept or reject.

Mediation is a common form of ADR in which the parties seek the help of a neutral third-party mediator. An important part of this process is the use of negotiation. Unlike arbitration, each party has the power to decide how and if they will come to a resolution. The mediator does not issue a decision; instead, he or she helps the parties reach an agreement by clarifying their positions and goals, and encouraging them to work together.

In a summary jury trial, the parties present their cases to a mock jury. The jury’s findings are not binding, but they are a good indication of how things might pan out if you went to trial. Each party can agree to participate in summary jury trials; sometimes, the court may order participation.

A moderated settlement conference, also known as an early neutral evaluation, is similar to arbitration. The main difference is that there is more interaction between the parties, attorneys and panelists. The panelists are typically attorneys who hear a shortened version of the case from each party and then issue a decision. The idea is that the decision, while not binding on the parties, will help them negotiate more constructively.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of ADR

Alternative dispute resolution has a number of benefits. They include:

  • Often shorter and more efficient than typical litigation and trial
  • Less expensive than a trial
  • More amenable to input from the parties involved
  • More confidential, in many cases, than traditional court proceedings, as many court documents are made public.

While it has its perks, ADR does have some disadvantages as well, such as:

  • If a resolution is not reached and the parties proceed to trial, there may be unnecessary delay and expense
  • Parties may use ADR as a “free” discovery tool to obtain information about the opposing party’s trial strategies
  • No legal precedent will be created
  • Some parties prefer to have a jury resolve their disputes
  • If the parties have a problematic relationship, face-to-face negotiations may make things worse

Speak To An Attorney; Call Our Office Today

It is important to look at all of your options when deciding how to handle your case. We can help you determine what is in your best interest. If you want a quick resolution to the case, ADR may be a good option. The subject matter of the case also can play a role in which way we decide to move forward.

A lawyer at The Law Firm of Peters & Wasilefski, who has experience in litigation and ADR, can evaluate your situation and explain the options available to you. Reach out to us to learn more or call us at 717-260-3483.