ADR or court: choose the best option

Alternative dispute resolution could be a good idea if you have a business-law issue in Massachusetts — under certain conditions. At Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, we recognize that these ADR programs work for some situations, while others require a more formal process. 

There are two major factors you may want to consider when making this decision. The first is whether you have already tried some form of arbitration or mediation. The next is whether you have enough time to dedicate to the process.

If you are like most people, you would try many forms of conflict reduction before considering an arbitrator. You may have even already used a third party — a mutual acquaintance, a family member or a friend — to help diffuse the situation. Depending on how formal and complete your previous attempts were, it could be useful to pursue a more official resolution in the courts.

If it had been some time since the injury in question occurred, then you could face another issue. In short, you could be forced into a choice between a civil suit or an ADR option. Massachusetts sets time limits on many claims that could prevent your case from being eligible after arbitration. Additionally, many ADR agreements include a requirement that you give up your right to sue.

We believe that the formal legal process and ADR are both effective forms of conflict resolution. When considering your available resources for a given case, it could also be helpful for you to know that courts are only one part of the law — there is also often a period of negotiations associated with every case. While ADR is generally less resource-heavy, some issues we handle traditionally do not accrue many court fees because the parties settle before the trial begins. Please read more on our legal site.

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