There are a number of alternative dispute resolution options that allow individuals to settle a legal dispute outside of court. In general, this tends to be more cost effective and swifter.
While the two most common forms are mediation and arbitration, negotiation is almost always attempted first to resolve a dispute. It is the preeminent mode of dispute resolution. Negotiation allows the parties to meet in order to settle a dispute.
As with litigation, arbitration also makes use of an adversarial approach to dispute resolution. However, instead of a court-appointed judge, the arbitrator is an independent private person, such as a senior advocate or attorney, decided upon by the parties involved.
Depending on the terms of the arbitration agreement entered into between the parties, the arbitrator usually has the discretion to set the rules for the arbitration. This often leads to a more robust, practical, time-efficient and cost-effective manner of resolving disputes. The process and final resolution often are not open to the public.