November 14, 2011
Judith Gray, M.A., J.D.
Alternate Dispute Resolution vs. Traditional Litigation
Alternate dispute resolution, as its name implies, offers an alternative to traditional civil litigation. The time and cost to bring a traditional civil case to trial are enormous. Alternate dispute resolution offers a more efficient settlement of disputes both in terms of time and money and has other benefits. Time to Trial
The length of time from the filing of a civil case to completion of a trial can, depending on a person’s location, take from one year to more than 10 years. This is due to the complexity of the court system. The defendant must be given notice and time to respond to the complaint. Then there is the discovery period and its interrogatories, depositions and requests for documents. It may be months before a date convenient to both side’s attorneys, and a third party to be deposed, can be set. Then there are the motions and counter motions that are filed and ruled on. Finally, even having a court date is no guaranty that the trial will start on that date. Either attorney could ask for a continuance or if your case is not scheduled first on that date, you may be scheduled. Alternate dispute resolution allows a more timely settlement of the dispute if both parties agree. The private sector has an economic incentive to expedite the resolution of civil disputes. There are many mediators, arbitrators, lawyers and retired judges that for a fee will assist in resolving your dispute. Depending were in the formal court process the case and the terms each party agree on, the process can save the parties considerable time.. The Cost
Due to the possible length and formal nature, a traditional case can cost $10,000 and up. Aside from the obvious attorney fees, other costs such as depositions and expert witnesses can be very expensive. The plaintiff may be...