Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution generally means that individuals engaged in an actual or potential dispute have choices - alternatives - other than litigation with which to resolve their differences. Martin, Lord & Osman offers alternative dispute resolution methods to avoid or reduce legal costs, to control the potential outcome of the case to a greater degree, to insure greater privacy, to control scheduling, and, in many cases, to maintain or rebuild valued relationships.

Alternative Dispute Resolution may consist of one or a combination of the following approaches:
Neutral Evaluation - consists of a presentation by each party of the facts and issues in dispute to a neutral evaluator responsible for assessing the merits of the case and rendering a non-binding opinion. This non-binding evaluation often facilitates further constructive negotiation between the parties.
Mediation - consists of a session or sessions with an experienced, trained neutral mediator who assists the parties in reaching an acceptable settlement.

In many contracts, alternative dispute resolution mediation clauses require the parties to utilize some form of alternative dispute resolution as the exclusive remedy or a requirement prior to initiating a lawsuit.

A business faced with an important but isolated problem with a valued vendor or customer may be wise to utilize alternative dispute resolution mediation services. Often a mediated dispute can be reached without creating the hostility, increased expense and the mutual dissatisfaction which might occur in formal litigation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques are also utilized in divorce and other family matters. Couples facing separation or divorce can agree to utilize an impartial and experienced marital mediator to facilitate the discussion of vital issues such as custody, parenting arrangements, support, living arrangements, property division and related matters. A marital mediator does not provide legal advice or representation to the parties. The parties create and control their own divorce agreement, subject to court review and approval.

By using alternative dispute resolution, neighbors have the opportunity to try to amicably and creatively resolve boundary line problems and similar property issues.