Having a dispute with a customer, a company, family member or friend is not easy. After you've tried to work it out yourself, it feels like you have no choice but to head to court to try to get it resolved. But seeking justice through the court system is expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining. Don't give up! Through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) you can avoid years of litigation, expensive lawyers' fees, and uncertain outcomes.
Through ADR, you can engage a neutral third party to help you - either by deciding your case (arbitration) or facilitating a discussion between you and whoever you are having the dispute with (mediation). ADR is frequently more economical, speedy and satisfying to all sides than going to court.
Once you know you can't resolve the matter yourself, the next step is to determine whether arbitration, mediation or heading to court will be the best process for you. If you have an attorney, discuss your options with them. Otherwise, check out our FAQs for helpful tips on deciding whether to head to court, mediation or arbitration.
Laura Engelhardt has been resolving disputes all her life. She keeps her calm in high-pressure situations and knows how to reduce tension so agreement can be achieved. Laura spent 11 years helping corporations apply the law to fact and knows how to sort through complicated issues. She earned a J.D. from Stanford Law School and has extensive experience with financial regulation, bankruptcy and commercial disputes.
It doesn't matter what kind of case you have. The best arbitrators are experienced listeners, who are smart, analytical, and open-minded. Finding someone knowledgeable about the law and capable of sorting through the facts is not easy - but we can help!
In mediation, you decide the resolution of your problem. Mediators facilitate your discussion with the other side, helping you to realize what you really need in order to reach a resolution. The best mediators are skilled communicators who are client-focused and non-egotistical. This is about you - not your mediator!