Alternative dispute resolution has become more popular during the past four decades. The vast majority of civil lawsuits are resolved before trial, and this is primarily due to the rise of alternative dispute resolution. These forms of alternative dispute resolution are applicable to estate planning cases.
The Three Primary Forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Settlement negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are the three most common forms of alternative dispute resolution. Injured victims may settle their cases at anytime before trial. In some cases the settlement agreement is entered into on the night before trial is set to begin. If you are an accident victim seeking financial compensation for your injuries, then you need to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about the benefits of alternative dispute resolution.
Settlement negotiation is the most common form of alternative dispute resolution. Nearly all civil lawsuits are resolved before trial, and settlement negotiation can occur at any time after the complaint is filed.
Most attorneys who work in the personal injury field understand how to negotiate with opposing counsel. If you attempt to resolve your civil lawsuit on your own, you may discover that defense counsel may not take you seriously if you do not have legal representation. Most of the defense attorneys who work for insurance companies are skilled negotiators, and they will try to use devious tactics to get you to accept a low settlement offer.
Settlement negotiation is often informal and can occur orally or in writing. The client has the right to agree to a settlement offer. An attorney cannot force a client to accept any settlement agreement. However, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will be able to advise clients on the positive and negative consequences of accepting or rejecting a particular settlement offer.
Once the parties agree to a settlement, they will draft a settlement agreement. Each attorney must approve of the settlement agreement and the clients must also approve of the settlement agreement. The parties and their attorneys must sign the settlement agreement. Essentially, a settlement agreement is a contract that binds both parties. Oftentimes, the victim waives any future claims against the defendant, and releases the defendant from all future claims.
Mediation is a more formal type of alternative dispute resolution. A mediator will act as an intermediary between both parties. Although mediation often occurs remotely, it can take place in a conference room or law office. Both parties will be in their own space, and the mediator will go back and forth between the parties while attempting to help the parties reach a settlement agreement.
The majority of mediators are former attorneys or judges. Mediators are trained, educated, and experienced. The neutral third-party has no authority to bind the litigants to any agreement. However, the mediator serves to help the parties consider the benefits of settling the case rather than continuing with litigation.
Arbitration is either binding or non-binding. During binding arbitration, the arbitrator has the authority to order a settlement between the parties. Most arbitrators are former lawyers or judges, and they have more power than mediators.
A judge in a case may order the parties to enter arbitration. The proceedings are more formal than mediation, and the stakes are higher, because the arbitrator can bind the parties to an agreement.
However, the arbitrator intends to help the parties reach a reasonable settlement and avoid the costs of litigation. Non-binding arbitration is slightly less formal than binding arbitration. The parties are not bound by the arbitrator’s decision. Speaking to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will help you learn more about arbitration.
Contact L. Jennings Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Contact L. Jennings Law today to learn more about alternative dispute resolution. You do not have to stand alone if you are having legal issues regarding an estate plan or probate administration. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. We are here to help you during this difficult time.