Chapter 4

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Three Fundamental Areas of Law
1. Dispute Prevention
What is dispute prevention? Dispute prevention is preventing disputes before they arise. It is extremely important to try to prevent disputes before they occur. Why? Because it saves valuable time and money if you have a dispute prevention plan that minimizes the risk of problems. Can you name an example of a method of dispute prevention? A syllabus is a great example of one such method that you as a student are familiar with. How is a syllabus a dispute prevention method? It is used to minimize problems because it outlines course, student and college policies. Think about taking a class in which you were not made aware of attendance, grading, and other such policies? In that situation, the instructor and students would have a number of unnecessary problems/disputes throughout the semester. No, dispute prevention will not eliminate all disputes but it will minimize the chances of having problems. The Enviro-Vision partners, Beth and Tony, decided to create a detailed partnership agreement as a method of dispute prevention. The agreement included provisions for the following: * Employee hiring and firing

* Employee job descriptions/ duties
* Employee education
* Policies
* Procedures
* Regulations
* Laws
* Business capital contributions
* Who owns what and in what percentages
* Customer contract details
* Services performed
* Due date
* Risks involved
* Cost of services
2. Litigation (discussed later in the chapter)
Litigation refers to lawsuits, the process of filing claims in court, and ultimately going to trial. 3. Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution is any other formal or informal process used to settle disputes without resorting to a trial. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Many methods of ADR are utilized to resolve disputes between parties. Although many methods exist, this chapter details the following methods: negotiation, mediation, arbitration and mandatory arbitration. In general, ADR is faster and cheaper as a method of resolving disputes than litigation. Every circumstance is different; therefore, the costs and benefits should be considered before deciding on a method for resolving disputes. Many times, one or more methods of ADR are used before a dispute is resolved. Other times, ADR methods are unsuccessful and parties litigate the dispute. Negotiation

Negotiation takes several different forms ranging from an informal process to a formal method of resolving disputes. Individuals negotiate on a daily basis-with children, parents, co-workers, employers, friends, classmates, etc. This type of negotiation is very informal and is usually resolved shortly after the issue arises. However, negotiation isn’t always as informal. Negotiation can also be a formal procedure that occurs through the use of attorneys. For example, the tobacco lawsuit, initiated by then Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, Mike Moore, started as negotiation. Negotiation may immediately resolve a dispute or take years to complete. Whatever the case, a great majority of disputes are resolved using this method of dispute resolution. Mediation

Mediation has become the fastest growing method of dispute resolution in the United States. A court might order mediation or disputing parties may elect to try to resolve a dispute using this method. In mediation, a neutral third party, a mediator, acts as a referee. The mediator listens to ascertain the disputing party’s issues in attempts to assist them with reaching a voluntary settlement. The mediator lacks the authority to make a decision for the parties. If the parties don’t agree on a resolution, they can walk away. Therefore, mediation offers a “win-win” potential for all parties; if the parties reach an agreement, neither party has “lost.” In addition, this method of resolving disputes is...
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