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Choosing a Dispute Resolution Option

Choosing A Dispute Resolution Option

Getting into a conflict with another person is a common scenario. Everyone fights with another on different issues. These disputes can often take serious turns. And you may think that going to court would be the best option for resolution.

But that is not always true. Court activities are way more complicated than you can think of. And then, there are some disputes that the court may not even accept.

So, going to court is not the only way to solve a conflict. There are several options available for dispute resolution. Yet, choosing a dispute resolution option may not be that easy.

What is Dispute Resolution?

Let us first understand what dispute resolution means. The definition of the term is easy to figure out. It involves different dispute resolution methods to solve a conflict, dispute, or claim.

Dispute resolution involves solving any conflict we face in our civil lives. These conflicts can involve our family members, neighbours, business partners, or workplace people.

Dispute resolution also includes fighting for compensation claims. You may have faced a terrible road accident. As a result, you can seek compensation for personal injuries. When the other party refuses, you are now in a dispute.

So, how do you solve a dispute? Dispute resolutions can take place inside the court. You can also solve minor conflicts outside the court. In most cases, people assume that going to court is the best option.

Litigation: The Most Common Dispute Resolution Method

Litigation is a common dispute resolution process. It is the most common form of dispute resolution. Litigation means going to court and filing a lawsuit to solve a dispute.

This dispute resolution method involves using the legal system of the country. After filing a lawsuit, the court will litigate the matter. This means that the court will now handle every procedure of the dispute.

This also means that you and the Solicitor will now have to follow court-set rules. These rules are the pace, procedure, and hearings of the conflict. Thus, litigation can become a very lengthy process.

Another issue of litigation is that it can be expensive. The complete process can go through several court hearings. And there will involve many documentations, legal fees, and so on.

But when the case is serious, litigation might be the only option. For example, you are severely injured in an accident.

But the other party is refusing to compensate for the damages. In such cases, filing a lawsuit and taking court actions are the only way.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternate dispute resolution involves alternate methods of solving disputes. It is often referred to as ADR. Alternate dispute resolution in Canada includes any other option than litigation.

The alternate methods of solving disputes are becoming very popular recently. People are following them to solve labour, divorce, personal injury disputes.

ADR is a very cost-effective option to solve conflicts. It allows both parties to understand each other’s position.

You do not have to take the case to court, and both parties can come together to find common ground. You may also end up finding a creative solution to some issues.

5 Methods of Alternate Dispute Resolution

There can be several methods of alternate dispute resolution. We have accumulated a total of 5 of them, and all the options are alternatives to formal court proceedings.


The most flexible process of ADR is negotiations. This is the first step towards solving a dispute. In this method, two parties come together and discuss possible ways to find an outcome. Each party requires a negotiator to carry out the negotiation process.

A negotiation takes place behind closed doors. This makes negotiations very private and confidential. Negotiation also ensures a “Without prejudice” opportunity. You can solve the issue without harming your relationship and reputation.


Mediation is another form of negotiation. It is much more confidential and involves a third party. This third party is called a mediator. Two parties can seek mediator support when negotiation is no longer helping.

Like negotiation, mediation also includes “Without prejudice” opportunities. This means that no parties can use any information from the mediation process later on.

It is a much better option than negotiation. Here, a certified mediator solves the dispute after hearing each other’s position.

The mediation process takes place behind closed doors. The mediator calls both parties in to discuss their positions. After hearing their points, the mediator gives a decision.

It is completely up to the parties whether to accept the decision or not. If they accept, the dispute is solved right there.

Early Neutral Evaluation

Early neutral evaluation involves evaluating a dispute through an independent assessment. An evaluator will assess the facts and stages of the dispute, and the evaluator then suggests or advises possible solutions to the dispute.

It is still up to the parties to accept the suggestions of the evaluator. It is basically a method of seeking expert support. This way, the parties do not have to go to court and still solve serious matters.

Early neutral evaluation deals with many disputes. This involves issues with technical matters, compensation claims, and confidential matters.

Expert Determination

Another binding process of solving the dispute is expert determination. It allows two parties to settle technical issues.

The method applies to two types of disputes. This first type is the dispute related to valuation, and the other type is disputes that involve technical matters.

Expert determination is almost like Early neutral evaluation. The parties hire an expert to evaluate the case and provide a solution. Both parties then agree to accept the solution.


The last process of ADR is arbitration. In this process, the arbitrator and the arbitral tribunal proceed with the dispute. They act as a judicial party and give the final decision of the dispute.

The arbitration process involves giving full power to an arbitrator. The arbitrator validates the scope of the case and issues a decision, but the arbitrator has no jurisdiction outside the scope of the case. When both parties agree to the decision, they sign an arbitration agreement.

How to Decide Which Option to Choose

There are so many options to choose to solve a dispute. Here are 5 ways you can make the best choice.

Strength of the Case

If your case is very serious, litigation is the best option. But you can solve weak and regular disputes outside the court. Always try to solve any conflict through negotiation.

Your Relationship with the Other Party

Litigation is a very formal method of dispute resolution. If you had a good relationship with the other party, this might not be suitable. Try to go for less formal ways of solving the dispute.

Legal Costs

Litigations are expensive. The method takes place in court with lots of legal proceedings. If you want to cut costs, negotiation and mitigation could be ideal.

Read More: Legal Separation Agreement

Time and Urgency to Solve the Matter

Court procedures always take a lot of time to complete. In comparison, negotiation and mitigation are two much faster processes. If you want to solve the matter quicker, go for the ADR options.

Confidential and Private Matters

Negotiation is the best option if you want to keep things private. Arbitration can be another option as it involves a professional third party. But litigation will not be a suitable option for confidential disputes.


Choosing a dispute resolution option is never easy. It all depends on how fast and cheaply you want to complete the process. There can be many ways to solve a conflict. The best option would be to consult your lawyer before taking any step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Use Dispute Resolution?

Dispute resolution involves formal and informal methods of solving conflicts. It has many advantages, and there are many cheap options you can use to solve disputes. If things are very serious, you can seek legal support for solutions.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Dispute Resolution?

Almost all the alternate dispute resolution methods do not require you to have a lawyer. But you will need a lawyer if the case goes to litigation.

How Does Dispute Resolution Work?

Dispute resolution offers both parties choices to solve their conflict. There can be many methods to solve the issue. Also, two methods can be combined for special cases.

What Does the Dispute Resolution Lawyer Do?

A dispute resolution is also known as a dispute resolution solicitor. You will need a solicitor if you decide to go for litigation. The lawyer will carry out every legal procedure on your behalf.


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