It is claimed that a case taken to court can cost each party ten times as much in legal fees than the same case settled out of court.
Clearly, there are benefits to keeping your disputes outside the courtroom. However, if you’re involved in a dispute, you may be wondering about how exactly this is achieved.
Read on as we look at how to settle a case out of court
Mediation involves the affected parties, their respective attorneys, and an independent third party called a mediator.
Mediators don’t have the authority to set down binding verdicts. Their function is to encourage and moderate a discussion between the two parties.
The disputing parties try to come to an agreement voluntarily, with the guidance of the mediator.
While mediation produces good results in many cases, it isn’t always suitable. There must be some common ground between the parties for mediation to work. If there isn’t, compromise will be impossible.
If you’re involved in a mediation dispute in relation to insurance, you may need to hire an insurance claim attorney.
Arbitration is similar to mediation in that it takes place outside a courtroom setting, and involves the disputing parties, their lawyers, and an independent third party. The third party here is called an arbitrator.
The most significant difference is that an arbitrator hands down binding verdicts.
The arbitrator essentially acts as a judge. He or she hears arguments from both sides and makes a finding on this basis with which the parties are legally obliged to comply.
In some cases, parties to a contract will be required, by an arbitration clause, to settle disputes through arbitration.
There are different kinds of arbitration. For example, a variation known as non-binding arbitration is used where parties don’t want a binding third-party decision and are too far apart in their viewpoints to use mediation.
The non-binding verdict allows them to consider their positions in light of independent adjudication.
3. Settlement Negotiation
A settlement negotiation involves the parties, or their attorneys, attempting to settle their dispute through written correspondence.
The main difference between this method and the two outlined above is that no third party is necessary here. This makes settlement negotiation the cheapest form of alternative dispute resolution.
However, this will only work in limited situations. Where two parties are in strong opposition, or one is unwilling to cooperate, progress is far less likely without the help of a third party.
How to Settle a Case Out of Court: Consider Your Options
The courtroom isn’t your only option. Each of the three processes listed above has its advantages, and you should give each one careful consideration.
When wondering how to settle a case out of court, the most important consideration is the circumstances of your case. Different situations require different methods of dispute resolution.
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