April 15, 2013
Traditional and Nontraditional Litigation
In the United States, a traditional litigation refers to the process of bringing, defending and maintaining a lawsuit (Cheeseman, 2010). Traditional litigation goes through a structured process of answer, discovery trial and jury. Whereas the nontraditional litigation process, alternative dispute resolution, known as ADR is a more flexible, less expensive, not as time consuming, and confidential process. There are several forms of alternative dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration, negotiation, conciliation, mini-trial, fact-finding and utilizing a judicial referee. Arbitration and mediation are similar to where it is a form of negotiation and a neutral party settles the dispute. Negotiation is where the two parties negotiate to settle the dispute. A mini-trial is a shortened version of a traditional litigation trial. Fact-finding situations call for the parties to employ a third party to investigate the facts to come to a resolution. Lastly, a judicial referee is much like a mini-trial but both parties reserve the right to appeal. Ninety percent of cases are resolved through alternative dispute resolution (Harms, 2011). The next several paragraphs will identify risks associated with traditional litigation and the advantages of the alternative dispute resolution in reducing those risks. A Formal Process
In a traditional litigation the process is very structured. Usually a lawyer is needed to represent then the process will proceed through the judicial system. A judge and jury will render an unpredictable ruling based on the law rather than justice. An alternative dispute resolution is much more flexible. In the alternative dispute resolution parties can select a neutral decision maker with specific expertise pertaining to the dispute. The procedure and format also can be agreed upon by both parties.