Alternative Dispute Resolution
Even the most successful trial attorneys realize that not every case calls for the same strategy and not every case should go to trial. In many cases, seeking an alternative method of dispute resolution is the right choice for reducing costs and finding an amicable, more durable solution.
At Willis Law, our experienced lawyers help individuals and businesses in western Michigan explore all of their dispute resolution options, including litigation, mediation and arbitration. We can be relied upon to look out for your best interest at every phase of your case and pursue the best strategy for achieving your desired outcome.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Our firm can advise you on alternative methods of resolving your disputes out of court, primarily arbitration and mediation:
- Arbitration: In arbitration, a private, third-party arbitrator (or, in some cases, a panel of arbitrators) will make a decision in the matter after listening to each side present their case. In binding arbitration, the decision is final. In non-binding arbitration, the parties retain the option of deciding to go to court if they disagree with the arbitrator's decision. While arbitration functions like a "mini-trial," it is often half the cost of taking the same issue to trial.
- Mediation: In mediation, a third party also has a crucial role. A neutral mediator works closely with each party and his or her attorneys in order to come to an agreement. It is expected that each side will have to compromise in order to achieve an outcome that both sides consider agreeable. Mediation tends to minimize the animosity associated with the decision, and parties feel more empowered than if a judge was left to make a decision in a trial.
This is a less well-known ADR process that clients often have many questions about. Case evaluation is typically scheduled in a case that has already proceeded through the discovery process. In a case evaluation, a panel of three lawyers will examine the case and make a recommendation for settlement after sizing up the parties. If your case goes to case evaluation, we can counsel you on your options and determine whether it is in your best interest to accept the recommendation or proceed to trial.
Think ADR may be right for you? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our mediation and arbitration attorneys. We will walk you through all your options and make sure your case goes down the right path. We have offices in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Paw Paw.