The last few years have witnessed massive changes in the employment law landscape. All kinds of new issues are emerging throughout Arizona, creating large amounts of workplace disputes and employment law issues. And while litigation is sometimes necessary to resolve these disputes, it becomes more costly every year. In addition, the adversarial aspect of litigation creates additional challenges for all parties involved.
However, parties can circumvent both the cost and stress of litigation by leaning into alternative dispute resolution (ADR) strategies. These include procedures like mediation, counseling, negotiation, and arbitration.
These approaches offer all parties a less costly and more collaborative approach to resolving their problems. Read on to learn more about alternative dispute resolution and how a Scottsdale ADR lawyer can streamline this process.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
ADR refers to a number of conciliatory methods that parties in a legal dispute can use to resolve their disagreement without going to trial. As you know, litigation is an adversarial process where parties fight out their differing points of view in front of a judge or jury. With ADR, the parties work together to solve their differences outside the courtroom. Most types of ADR also involve a third party who works to facilitate the ADR process.
There are three main kinds of ADR.
First, there is negotiation. Here, the parties themselves attempt to reach a compromise to settle their differences by themselves. Unlike arbitration and mediation, the parties drive the negotiation process. Furthermore, negotiation is a very informal process that the parties can engage in at any time. By contrast, both mediation and arbitration are somewhat more formal.
The second kind of ADR is mediation, where a neutral party (the mediator) helps the parties discuss their differences and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. Using their special training, mediators use various strategies to help the parties find common ground. This can ultimately help improve the relationship between the parties and make a mutually agreeable solution possible.
However, the mediator has no power to force the parties to settle their differences, and they cannot give legal advice. So it helps to have a lawyer at mediation to provide guidance specifically tailored to your interests.
The third type of ADR is arbitration. This method of ADR is the closest thing to a trial without actually going to court. In fact, an arbitrator is similar to a judge in that they hear the evidence and make a binding decision that both parties must abide by. The process is less formal than a trial and, therefore, less costly. But the decision is binding and precludes the parties from litigating the case further.
ADR has many advantages.
- ADR saves time. The litigation process can take years to complete. By contrast, the ADR process may take only months or weeks.
- ADR gives you more control and flexibility. Litigation operates on a very rigid schedule, and you have virtually no control over the outcome of your case. On the other hand, ADR offers you more flexibility to come up with unique or unusual solutions that aren’t possible in court.
- ADR saves money. Litigation involves many different costs, including filing fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and higher attorneys’ fees. ADR involves only a fraction of these costs, even if the parties have a Scottsdale ADR lawyer.
- ADR is less confrontational. Regardless of whether you win or lose your case in court, you can rest assured that your relationship with the other party will be damaged beyond repair if you go to trial. Yet, with ADR, you may be able to preserve a relationship with the other party while still explaining and defending your own interests.
Because of these benefits, ADR gives parties more long-term satisfaction. It can even reduce future disputes by preserving the relationship between the parties.
Why Do I Need a Scottsdale ADR Attorney?
Assuming you are in the larger Phoenix area, having an attorney present for your employment law mediation or arbitration session can be invaluable. Because arbitration is somewhat similar to traditional litigation, the benefits of an attorney are more obvious.
Having an attorney present at an arbitration means you will have a zealous advocate for your interests. Your attorney can carry out several key functions, such as calling friendly witnesses, cross-examining adverse witnesses, and presenting evidence.
In addition, your attorney will use their specialized legal training to persuasively argue your case to the arbitrator. Without an attorney, you face a neutral decision-maker and an adverse party all by yourself, without the skills necessary to give you the best chance of a good result.
Having a local Scottdale employment mediation attorney is also critical for mediation and negotiation conferences. At a mediation, it’s vital to remember the mediator is a neutral party. Their job is to ensure you understand the process—they will not advocate for your interests.
On the other hand, an attorney is bound to advance your interests and help you understand the consequences of various proposals discussed during the mediation conference. An ADR lawyer is similarly critical for negotiations because their legal training and experience enable them to confidently and effectively negotiate for their clients.
Our Team of Scottsdale Mediation Lawyers Has the Tools and Experience You Need to Succeed in ADR.
As you can see, using ADR processes—like mediation in employment disputes—can unlock new and exciting resolution possibilities. In addition to saving time and money, ADR offers you a way to exercise control over your results and potentially preserve your relationship with the other party.
However, it can be difficult to fully enjoy the benefits of ADR without an attorney, especially because most people have no experience with arbitration and mediation. Fortunately, the attorneys at Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC have both the experience and the technical specialization to maximize your chances of a positive outcome.
Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience representing clients in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. On top of that, our team has recovered over $20,000,000 for our clients over the years. Give us the chance to protect your interests and help you resolve your disputes as quickly and painlessly as possible. Call us today or contact us online to get started.