At Kasan Law, our Chicago and Illinois alternative dispute resolution attorneys understand the litigation process and our clients’ needs. We approach each matter with the mindset the case is going to trial. However, we understand that pursuing or defending civil litigation matters through trial can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. When possible, we believe in resolving the dispute through negotiations. However, if necessary, we are prepared to litigate the matter to a final verdict.
In addition to the courtroom, we represent clients in alternative dispute resolution matters, including mediation, arbitration, and pre-trial settlement negotiations. Contact Kasan Law to learn more about our alternative dispute resolution practice.
Every civil lawsuit does not require the parties to engage in formal court proceedings, and many are resolved without every going trial. Alternative Dispute Resolution is typically less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a civil lawsuit. Alternative dispute resolution is a term used to describe various ways that parties can resolve disagreements without a trial, such as:
Arbitration is a process that attempts to resolve disputes outside the courtroom. Arbitration can be either mandatory or voluntary. Mandatory arbitration means that the parties must use arbitration to resolve any dispute. Voluntary arbitration means that the parties can explore other options for resolving their dispute before going through arbitration.
In arbitration, a neutral person called an arbitrator hears arguments and evidence from each side and decides the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is less formal than a trial, and the rules of evidence are often relaxed. During an arbitration proceeding, typically, three neutral and impartial arbitrators hear the evidence, arguments, and testimony from both sides and make a decision, similar to a trial.
Arbitration decisions may be either binding or non-binding. Binding arbitration means that the parties waive their right to a trial and agree to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final. If the arbitration is binding, any ruling rendered in the arbitration proceeding is legally enforceable, in the same way, a court’s decision would operate. Non-binding arbitration means that either party is free to reject the arbitrator’s decision and pursue litigation instead.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process by which the parties attempt to resolve their dispute by involving a neutral third-party mediator. In mediation, an impartial person called a mediator helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation is generally voluntary and involves the use of one individual, often a former judge, that familiarizes themselves with the facts, dispute, and arguments. The mediator provides a neutral view regarding each party’s strengths and weaknesses and attempts to move both parties toward an amicable resolution. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute.
Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties, and typically involve the following steps:
Settlement conferences may be either mandatory or voluntary. In both types of settlement conferences, the parties and their attorneys generally meet with a judge or neutral person to discuss possible settlement of their dispute. The judge does not make a decision in the case but assists the parties in evaluating the case’s strengths and weaknesses and negotiating a settlement. Settlement conferences are appropriate in any case where settlement is an option. Mandatory settlement conferences are often held close to the date a case is set for trial.
Settlement conferences typically involve the following steps:
The judge cannot force the parties to agree to a settlement. If they cannot reach an agreement, the case will continue toward trial. If they do reach an agreement, the attorneys for the parties will work together on a document that lays out the settlement. The parties will review and sign this document, and then the judge will dismiss the case.
If any of the alternative dispute resolution methods are unsuccessful, Kasan Law’s Chicago and Illinois attorneys are prepared to litigate the matter to final judgment, whether we represent the plaintiff or defendant.
At Kasan Law, our approach to lawyering enables us to efficiently provide creative, flexible, and individually tailored solutions to each client’s specific needs and legal issues. We understand that any civil litigation matter can be stressful and costly, both in time and money. We provide reasonable hourly fee arrangements and, if possible, flat-fee, hybrid, and contingent fee legal services. Our consultations are free and carry no obligations.
Contact our Chicago and Illinois alternative dispute resolution attorneys to schedule your free and no-obligation consultation by calling (312) 300-6724, e-mailing us at [email protected] to request a review of your case, or schedule your consultation online.