For most people, involvement in the legal system is an intimidating, time consuming, and costly endeavor. Unfortunately, however, the odds are good that you will be involved in some type of civil legal dispute at some point in your lifetime. If you find yourself the litigant in a civil dispute you may wonder " Are there less expensive alternatives to litigation for a civil dispute? " The good news is that yes, there are less expensive alternatives. In fact, litigants are often required by law or the terms of a contract to try alternative methods of resolving a civil dispute in the State of New York. When not required, a court may strongly "suggest" to parties that they attempt to resolve their dispute using Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR.
Even a small claims dispute can take months to actually make it to trial in New York. Disputes that cannot be filed in small claims court because they involve larger amounts of money or more complex legal issues can take years to make it to trial. Complex disputes clearly require the assistance of an experienced civil litigation attorney. The longer the case takes to resolve, the greater the legal bill will be for both sides. Add to that the cost of experts, courts costs, and lost revenue or income because of the time spent on the lawsuit and it is easy to see how a civil dispute can be extremely expensive for both parties to the dispute. In addition, lengthy civil disputes clog up the court's calendar, causing an even bigger backlog for the court in general. To try and avoid all of these unwanted consequences of civil litigation, the State of New York encourages litigants to utilize ADR.
Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to a number of processes that help litigants resolve their dispute without the need to have a trial. Mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation and collaborative law are some common forms of ADR in New York. Though the process and procedures are somewhat different for each type of ADR, the concept remains the same. A neutral party helps the litigants reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute without the need to go to trial. In essence, you and your attorney are able to work through the issues with the opposing party in a less formal, and less adversarial, setting.
If you are involved in a civil dispute, or foresee the need for litigation in the near future, be sure to consult with the experienced attorneys at Simon & Gilman, LLP to determine if Alternative Dispute Resolution could be a viable option in your case