John Watson Law Group LLC

Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

Advantages of MediationThe Mediator is a neutral who has undergone specific training and is often registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.  There are several advantages to the mediation process.  Some of these advantages are:

  • A resolution is quicker than with the litigation process;
  • Scheduling is often at the parties’ discretion rather than the court’s, making it much more palatable to clients, especially those from out of state, and permits the attorneys to better plan their time, thus reducing costs;
  • It is less expensive than litigation;
  • Since the parties make their own resolution decisions, the unpredictability of litigation is avoided;
  • It is a private process with strict confidentiality, which can often be important to the parties;
  • The procedure is less adversarial than litigation, and the relationship of the parties can often be preserved, if desired;
  • The rules of evidence are more relaxed;
  • There is generally higher party satisfaction with mediation than with litigation;
  • There is a high resolution rate, and
  • In the event no resolution is reached, the parties can still proceed with other remedies, whether it be arbitration or continuing with the litigation process.

The mediation process can be terminated at any time, either by a party or the Mediator.

Advantages of Arbitration.  An arbitrator is also a neutral, but, unlike a mediator, an arbitrator acts as a judge, rules on evidentiary matters, and renders a decision on the merits of the case.  Binding arbitration is essentially not appealable.

 

An arbitration is often viewed as a mini-trial, generally faster and less expensive than a full blown litigation through the court system.  There is limited discovery and the rules of evidence, while generally followed, may be more relaxed than in a formal court setting.

Since the arbitration process is usually faster than formal litigation, and there is no appeal from a binding arbitration, the cost to the parties is normally lower, although the arbitrator is paid by the hour, and the initial filing fees may be higher

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