Dispute resolution or also referred to as conflict resolution is the process of resolving conflicts between parties by addressing some of each side’s concerns and needs. Dispute resolution services encompass several processes and methods which include lawsuits, meditation, arbitration, collaborative law and negotiation to name a few.
The processes essentially fall into two major categories, either adjudicative or consensual. Adjudicative processes are those where an arbitrator, judge or jury determines the outcome or final verdict. Falling under this are litigations and arbitrations. On the other hand, consensual processes are those where the conflicting parties themselves attempt to reach an agreement where they themselves determine the outcome. Falling under this category are mediation, collaborative law and negotiation.
Litigations or lawsuits are those that call for the act of bringing a legal action at court. It is a judicial contest that aims to determine and enforce legal rights. For example, if a company hires a construction firm to do their office building and such firm fails to perform as contained in the written contract, the company may pass a lawsuit seeking for damages from the firm. The court decides for such case.
Arbitration is a process by which the determination of the outcome on the disagreement between the opposing parties lies in the hands of an impartial third party called an arbitrator. Unlike the former, arbitrations do not resort to court action.
Mediation is where a third party seeks to help resolve a conflict between the parties involved in a dispute. They help promote dialogue and communication between the opposing sides. It is rather informal as opposed to the first two but is consensual in nature and the conflicting parties get to determine the final output.
Collaborative Law also is an out of court process and aims to determine the problem and address it rather than pint fingers and doing the blame game. Under this process, both parties cannot go to court and should one do so, collaborative law terminates the lawyers and disqualifies them from the case. Each party is expected to disclose facts and information, show respect, jointly cooperate and come up with a feasible agreement to address everyone’s concerns.
Negotiation is a dispute resolution service that resolves the conflict in a manner that is acceptable and reasonable on all parties involved. Under this, each party seeks to persuade the other to understand their point. This is often used in conflicts such as the reduction of a debt, sales price negotiation or in certain clauses of a contract.