Dispute resolution processes fall into two major types:

  1. Adjudicative processes, such as arbitration, in which an arbitrator determines the outcome.
  2. Consensual processes, such as mediation, conciliation, or negotiation, in which the parties attempt to reach agreement.

Arbitration – is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts. The parties to a dispute refer it to arbitration and agree to be bound by the arbitration decision (the “award”).   In essence, a third party reviews the evidence in the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts

Mediation –  is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a “party-centered” process that is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties.  A mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that they manage the interaction between parties and facilitate open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties

Negotiations  – are part of everyday life; often without even considering it a negotiation.  Negotiation occurs in business, sales, non-profit organizations, government branches, legal proceedings, among nations, and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting, etc. The study of the subject is called negotiation theory. Professional negotiators are often specialized in specific industries.

Online Dispute Resolution – Dispute resolution can also take place on-line or by using technology in certain cases. Online dispute resolution, a growing field of dispute resolution and uses new technologies to solve disputes. Online Dispute Resolution is also called “ODR”. Online Dispute Resolution.  This platform also involves the application of traditional dispute resolution methods to disputes which arise online.