Alternative Dispute Resolution – A Way to Save Face and Money
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You would be surprised at just how easy it is for a disagreement to occur even amongst the most reasonable of partners. The biggest issue with this is the fact that people often have the wrong mindset and try to win the argument. You need to understand that ‘winning’ an argument doesn’t mean anything as long as you lose money, the trust of a partner and reputation in the business world. In other words, it’s not just about a conflict resolution, it’s also about damage control and there are several ways for you to save both face and money during this conflict.
The first method you should use to dispute resolution is the so-called arbitration where both sides agree to entrust the conflict resolution to a third party. The problem with arbitration is the fact that it forecloses any subsequent court options, meaning that the decision is final. The arbitrator needs to govern their decision-making process based on the (written) mutual agreement of the parties and give a good enough reason for the decision in question. There’s also an option known as expedited arbitration, which involves a sole arbitrator. This allows for the process to be wrapped up a lot quicker. The problem is that this is usually a good idea if the case is simple and straightforward.
By far the most effective method of dispute resolution is the process of mediation and there are several reasons behind this. First, it’s an informal dispute resolution, which means that there is no involvement of the legal system in the process. In the case where such a thing is possible, it’s definitely a good thing. Second, due to the fact that it allows parties to agree upon the solution on their own, it increases the chance that both parties will be content with the process. Keep in mind, though, that, in this scenario, some legal aid would be more than necessary. This is why you need to hire help in the form of a specialized law firm like Stevensen Business Lawyers since someone with previous experience in such matters might be.
The reason why mediation is so great, however, isn’t due to the way in which it resolves the conflict but due to the aftermath. You see, an arbitration will provide you with a resolution as well but, if the latter party isn’t satisfied, there’s nothing to persuade them to continue working with you. Also, chances are that this one-sided solution will earn you some negative word of mouth recommendations. That is, of course, in the best case scenario where the arbitrator decides in your favor. If not, mediation will at least allow you to impact the decision.
3. Expert determination
If the situation is very technical and both parties are convinced that they’re in the right, they could opt for expert determination. Here, both parties would choose an individual or organization they hold in high regard and agree that the determination is legally binding. Naturally, before this, both parties would hire their own independent expert in order to see if the ruling will be in their favor. If not, it’s highly unlikely that this will be their method of choosing. Due to the nature of this conflict resolution method and the fact that it’s something that both parties have to agree upon, this method is a lot less common than the above-discussed two.
4. Knowing your objectives
In the very title of the post, we’ve mentioned the importance of saving time and face. For this, you need someone who is fair, cost-efficient and confidential to manage this entire procedure. Also, you need someone who knows that your main objectives are to preserve a long-term relationship with your partners, which will make them take diplomatic approach to this entire situation. However, you also need someone with authority in order to ensure that this process isn’t repeated over and over again. This is why finding the right outside help may not be as easy as you would want it to be.
A simple mistake in conversation or a misinterpretation of a contract and you suddenly find yourself in a massive problem. The worst part is that it might not be as easy to say who it is to blame. You see, with the most legal system, if there’s an ambiguity in the contract, it’s the maker of the contract that’s in the wrong but the term ambiguity, on its own, is fairly hard to understand. This is why you need to know all your options for a dispute resolution, in order to pick the right one