Module Introduction: (CU1 M2) Litigation vs. Alternative Dispute Resolution
In general, legal problems between private parties can be addressed in two basic ways; through the courts or through less formal alternatives. In this unit, we will look at the court process of litigation and alternative methods of handling conflicts, known as Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR. Going to court is usually an expensive and time-consuming prospect. Businesses, which are always looking for ways to more effectively manage costs and other resources, can conserve both by first considering other ways to resolve disputes. For example, before going to court over the failure of a business to properly install equipment, a business might first consider entering into informal negotiations with the installer to reach a conclusion that is satisfactory to both sides. If this fails, the business might propose the use of a mediator to reach a mutually beneficial result. Contracts often contain a provision requiring issues be submitted to arbitration with a non-governmental official or an organization that acts, in essence, as judge and jury in the matter. If these efforts fail or if it is apparent that ADR would be unworkable from the beginning, then businesses need to consider whether a dispute is best resolved in court with all of its formal requirements and protections. This unit will begin by looking at the process by which businesses litigate disputes, ask who is involved in litigation, and what procedural requirements must be met in order to successfully litigate a dispute. You will then study the various methods of ADR available to businesses and consider how these can be effectively used to deal with disputes.
Describe the process of litigation from trial through appeal.
Identify litigation and methods of alternative dispute resolution and differentiate each.
Explain the relative benefits and drawbacks of litigation and alternative dispute resolution.