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Could ADR work for you or is litigation needed?

In business, you certainly know that some decisions are easier to make than others. Over the years, you have likely also had your fair share of disagreements with partners, employees, shareholders or other individuals close to your company. While many of these disagreements may have come to relatively easy resolutions, you may end up facing more formal dispute resolution proceedings if serious issues, like a breach of contract, come about.

Though you may hope that you could resolve your conflicts with as little upset as possible, taking legal action may prove necessary in some instances. However, you do not always have to move straight toward litigation. Alternative dispute resolution methods may help you reach effective conclusions without litigation or in conjunction with litigation.


A common ADR method involves mediation. With this process, you and the other party or parties involved in the dispute work with a neutral mediator in hopes of coming to a resolution. All parties involved have their say in the process and outcomes. This method generally works well for individuals who have the ability to compromise, negotiate and remain calm and focused during proceedings. You may wish to remember that mediation is non-binding.

If the situation is too high-conflict, this method may not have the desired effect. If you wish to attempt mediation first and it does not go as hoped, you could move on to more formal litigation proceedings.


Another ADR method that many individuals consider when attempting to resolve business disputes is arbitration. This process has many similarities to mediation, but the biggest difference is that arbitration can act as a binding process. Additionally, rather than having a single mediator oversee negotiations, a panel of arbitrators typically takes on a role similar to that of a judge in litigation proceedings. Usually, each side has the ability to choose an arbitrator, and the chosen arbitrators choose a third individual to sit on the panel.

When it comes to decision-making, the arbitrators take a vote, and the majority vote determines outcomes.


If neither of the previously mentioned methods work to your liking, you could take your case to trial, and of course, you could skip ADR attempts altogether. Whatever your situation, you may want to find out which route could work best for you and your company. Obtaining information on your options from reliable South Carolina legal resources may work in your best interests.

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