ADR Advantages

Process Mediation Arbitration Litigation
Who decides? Parties Arbitrator Judge
Who controls? Parties Arbitrators/attorneys Court/attorneys
Procedure Informal - a few rules are designed to protect confidentiality and allow everyone to speak and be heard Agreed rules of procedure are followed Formal and complicated rules abound
Time to schedule hearing A few weeks A few months Two years or more
Cost to party Nominal or low (business disputes can cost more) Moderate Substantial
Rules of evidence None Established but relatively informal Complex
Publicity Private Usually private Public
Relations of parties Cooperative effort may develop Antagonistic Antagonistic
Focus Future Past Past
Method of negotiation Compromise Hard bargaining Hard bargaining
Communication Often improved Blocked Blocked
Result If successful, Win/Win Win/Lose Win/Lose
Compliance Generally honored or appealed Often resisted or appealed Often resisted

One of the great advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution is that the parties have control over the process, - no more court waiting lists, no more long drawn out formal processes; instead, an informal, quicker and cheaper process designed to get to a solution so that the parties can get on with business.