When you find yourself in the middle of a dispute, no matter what the issue is, your time and attention will naturally be taken away from the things you would rather be doing. Disputes can also be expensive unless both sides have experienced advisors to help keep the focus on what really matters and avoid spending time and money arguing over minor issues. At The Dean Law Group, our only goal is to help you negotiate a solution to the problem at hand, as quickly and as inexpensively as possible so you can get on with your life. There are 3 main ways that disputes get resolved:
Informal Collaborative Negotiations
In an informal collaborative negotiation model you and the other person involved in the dispute will typically have an attorney or other trusted advisor who will help you frame the issues, weigh the value of each one and reach an agreement with the other side that you both can accept. When this method can be used it results in faster and less expensive resolutions. If additional assistance is needed, then you and the other person can move on to the next phase.
Formal Settlement Negotiations
If further assistance is needed to reach a resolution, but both parties still want to avoid having to go to court, they will get the assistance of a trained mediator to help them negotiate. A mediator is a neutral 3rd party who has no connection to anyone involved in the dispute and the people involved in the dispute each pay an equal share of the mediator’s fee. The mediator’s role is to help each side identify areas of agreement and, if possible, determine what each side is willing to give up to make the settlement possible. The mediator has no authority to dictate a solution. If an agreement can’t be reached in mediation, the parties can move on to the next phase.
Litigation or Arbitration (a lawsuit)
When it is impossible to reach a negotiated settlement then one or the other of the disputing parties will either file a lawsuit with the court or file for arbitration. In either instance, the costs will increase, sometimes exponentially if the dispute is complex or the people involved have strong feelings about their position. This is the least beneficial method of resolving a dispute because the cost can be greater than the benefit gained by a ruling from a Judge or Arbitrator.