by Scott Blumenshine
Not all cases end up at a jury trial. At any part of the litigation process both sides can agree to settle the disagreement by alternative dispute resolution, or ADR. That is, the parties can agree to have a retired judge, retired neutral, or attorney that specializes in mediation help settle the case. Both sides agree to come together expressing interest in trying to come to a fair and just settlement. They work with a mediator to come to a resolution that both sides can agree is palatable. Mediations have become very common nowadays.
ADR quite often speeds the settlement process and saves money. In ADR processes such as mediation, each side plays an important role in coming to a resolution. This often results in creative solutions, greater satisfaction, longer-lasting outcomes and less strain on relationships.
Another way to settle a case is to agree to binding arbitration. An arbitration is a mini-trial where each side is spared the expense, time, and cost of a jury trial which may take many weeks or months. A mini-trial is heard before a retired judge that retired judge make the decision. Since the parties agree ahead of time that the decision will be binding, both sides will be bound to accept that judge’s decision. The other good thing about binding arbitration is that it eliminates the possibility of an appeal which could add time,expense, and money to collecting any jury verdict in your favor.
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