Alternative dispute resolution is an umbrella term for resolving a legal dispute without taking a case before a judge. ADR includes a variety of proceedings, such as mediation, arbitration, and conciliation. Different types of ADR follow different procedures and have different legal outcomes.
For example, arbitration involves coming to a resolution before a single arbiter and typically results in a legally binding resolution. Mediation, on the other hand, is more flexible.
Mediation involves working to arrive at an agreement through mediation discussions facilitated by an impartial, third-party mediator. Mediation talks are voluntary and can be terminated at will at any point in the proceedings. Decisions made during a session are not legally binding unless the agreement is signed by both parties and submitted to the court upon the conclusion of sessions.
The many benefits of mediation have led it to become the most commonly used form of mediation. Participants have little to lose by participating in mediation sessions but experience a number of benefits if a dispute can be settled outside the courtroom.
Some of the key benefits of mediation include:
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