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How to Resolve Disputes Outside of Court Using ADR

When it comes to resolving a dispute, proceeding with an in-court trial isn’t always the best option, and it’s certainly not your only one. This doesn’t mean we are advocating a midnight meeting with your ex husband at Huddle House to hash out child custody details. It means we are advocates for alternative dispute resolution methods, which can save you time and money.

Alternative dispute resolutions are resolution processes that utilize a neutral third party to assist disputants in reaching an amicable resolution, as an alternative to a trial. There are several types of ADR approaches, the most common being mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences. Although some are more appropriate for certain situations than others, they all share the following common benefits.

  • They save you time- Litigation can last for years before a case finally goes to trial. Disputants are also not at the mercy of having to wait for a court schedule. They can schedule an ADR anytime, which speeds the process.
  • They save you money- Attorney hours, copying and mailing costs, and court reporter fees add up. And as already established, ADR is quicker- and time is money.
  • Increased confidentiality- There is a reason you are able to get all of the details of famous divorce cases – they went to trial. Court cases, judgments and opinions are often public record. The ADR process is confidential.

What are your options for solving disputes outside court?

Mediation – a neutral person called a “mediator” assists the disputants as they attempt to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

“The mediator’s job is not to decide the dispute, but make sure the parties communicate effectively so they can reach a settlement on their own,” says Encinitas divorce lawyer John Griffith. “Mediation is not suitable for parties who are unwilling to compromise, or for parties with a history of abuse or victimization.”

Arbitration- an impartial person called an “arbitrator” hears arguments and evidence from each disputant and then decides the outcome. Arbitration is similar in structure to a trial, but is less formal, and the rules regarding evidence are more relaxed. There are two types of arbitration: binding and nonbinding.

Binding arbitration means each party has opted to waive their right to a trial, and agreed to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final. There is generally no right to appeal an arbitrator’s decision in a binding arbitration.

Nonbinding arbitration means that the arbitrator still makes a decision, but either party is free to request a trial if they do not accept the arbitrator’s decision.

Settlement conference – parties and their respective attorneys meet with a judge or an impartial person called a “settlement officer” to discuss possible settlement of their dispute. The judge or settlement officer does not make a decision in the case, but aids the disputants in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and in negotiating a settlement.

Mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences can save you time and money, but aren’t right for every case. Call today to discuss your situation with an experienced Griffith, Young and Lass divorce lawyer, who can point you in the right direction.

 

 

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

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The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
We deliver results
I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego