A Look At The 3 Types Of Legal Dispute Resolution

Disputes are a normal part of life. They can happen in any relationship, whether it's between friends, family, co-workers, or businesses. When a dispute arises, it's important to find a way to resolve it fairly and respectfully. There are many different ways to resolve disputes. Some common methods include mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right method for the situation. Take a closer look at the three primary forms of legal dispute resolution below.


Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps two or more parties to resolve a dispute. The mediator stands as a middleman in the situation, which means the person does not take sides or provide their opinions. Instead, they help the parties to communicate and to find a solution that is acceptable to both sides. Mediation is a voluntary process; parties must agree to participate in mediation before it can begin. This form of dispute resolution is usually confidential, which means that what is said in mediation cannot be used in court. Mediation is a relatively inexpensive way to resolve a dispute. It is also a quick process, usually taking only a few hours to complete.


Arbitration is similar to mediation, but in arbitration, the neutral third party makes a decision that is binding on the parties. Arbitration is often used when the parties want a quick and final resolution to their dispute but cannot come to an agreement on their own or without a basic mediator. Arbitration is a more formal process than mediation. The parties must agree to the rules of the arbitration before it can begin. Also, arbitration is usually not confidential, which means that what is said in arbitration can be used in court. Further, dispute arbitration is usually more expensive than mediation, as well as a longer process, usually taking several weeks or months to complete.


Litigation is the process of resolving a dispute in court before a judge. This resolution type is a formal process that can be expensive and time-consuming. It is also often emotionally draining for the parties involved. Therefore, dispute litigation is usually the last resort for resolving a dispute through other means, such as mediation or arbitration. The process is not confidential as it is usually held in a court of law and a jury is likely going to be involved in determining the final outcome to settle the dispute.