Court litigation in New York can be expensive and time-consuming. That is why more individuals and companies are choosing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) when they need to settle a dispute. 

Not only is ADR less expensive and timelier, but it also allows both parties to collaborate and understand each other’s sides. These proceedings also allow for more creative solutions. The most popular types of alternative dispute resolution are mediation and arbitration. 

Mediation 

According to Harvard Law School, mediation uses a neutral third party to help both sides come to a resolution. Mediators facilitate conversation and diplomatically contain conflict. Many also present opinions and knowledge to help the process. Some steps mediators take to help both sides come to an agreement include brainstorming options, sharing specialized knowledge, discovering additional information and presenting offers to both parties. 

Arbitration 

Arbitration also uses a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator. This person acts as a judge and takes into account arguments and evidence from both parties. The arbitrator’s decision is usually binding and is not appealable. 

Factors to Consider Before Deciding Which Method to Use 

The Federal Trade Commission offers some advice to help decide which method is best for alternative dispute resolution. Some factors to consider include: 

  • Costs – Both methods are less expensive than litigation, but arbitration costs more than mediation. 
  • Confidentiality – Mediation typically guarantees confidentiality, while arbitration sometimes does. Each program varies, so ask about confidentiality if it is important. 
  • Binding decision – The resolution made during mediation does not require that both sides accept it, but an arbitration decision is often binding. 

Alternative dispute resolution can be a good choice for those who want to avoid going to court. However, there are factors to keep in mind before making a decision.