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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution refers to the process of resolving conflict by alternative means, usually with the help of a neutral third party. Examples of alternative dispute resolution include Mediation, Arbitration, and Collaborative Law. The goal is to resolve legal issues outside of court, often reducing the cost, delay, emotional stress, and unpredictability of the traditional court process.


Mediation is a dispute resolution process that involves a neutral third party, a Mediator, who acts to help the parties identify the issues and propose resolutions which are mutually acceptable for both parties. If this is achieved, the result is a “win-win” situation, rather than the typical “win-lose” outcome of a court proceeding. Mediators do not decide cases, but rather act as intermediaries, allowing lines of communication to remain open between parties, and encouraging the parties to reach more expeditious and cost effective resolutions of their disputes.


Arbitration is a process in which disputes are resolved by one or more trained, impartial arbitrators, whose decision the parties often have agreed will be final and binding. The process of arbitration is similar to a typical court proceeding in that a third party hears each party’s case, examines the evidence, and renders a decision. However, arbitration is often more cost-effective and expeditious than the traditional legal process. Also, there is more flexibility in that the parties have more control over certain aspects of the process such as the decision maker, the rules, the time frame, and the binding or non-binding effect of the decision.

The Attorneys at Raines, Dusing & Sutton, PLLC have experience in these areas in a variety of cases in many different areas of the law, including complex commercial litigation, business law, general civil litigation, toxic tort and product liability litigation, family law, and construction law and litigation.