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When an Alabama business and commercial entity is dealing with a dispute, one of the first thoughts is that they will need to prepare for litigation. While that is the case in many circumstances, it does not necessarily need to be so. There are many cases where it is possible to negotiate and avoid litigation. This is where alternative dispute resolution (ADR) comes in. For employers who would like to try this strategy and all it entails, it is crucial to have legal assistance from a qualified business and commercial law firm.

With ADR, the participants are encouraged to discuss the case and try to avoid long-term and costly disputes. It can even help them salvage the relationship and continuing doing business together if that is what they choose to do. There are various types of ADR, but the most common are mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.

With mediation, there will be a neutral third party – the mediator – who sits down with the parties and assists them in finding common ground voluntarily. There is no requirement that they come to an agreement and if they cannot, it can then proceed toward litigation. If there is an agreement, the parties will meet with their legal representatives to formally draft the agreement and settle the case.

Arbitration has a neutral party instead of a judge. The sides will be heard and a ruling will be issued. This is unlikely to be as expensive as a court case and there can be flexibility that is not available in litigation. Finally, collaborative law has the parties represented by an attorney, but they will come to an agreement that will prevent the case from going to trial. This is frequently used in family law situations, but it can be used in business and commercial cases as well.

When there is a dispute, it does not need to be rancorous and costly as is the case with many courtroom situations. Considering ADR is an economical way to settle disputes. Before moving forward with it, however, it is important to have legal assistance. A law firm that has specialists in ADR and understands business and commercial cases should be contacted for a consultation.