Many of us are familiar with courtroom TV dramas or movies. An attorney tries a case in court in front of a judge or jury with a dramatic, theatrical judgment or verdict at the end. In the real world, this isn’t the norm; not every case goes to trial. In fact, many civil cases are resolved by way of negotiations out of court.
Although each case differs, negotiating settlement terms of a dispute is encouraged for the following reasons:
A quicker resolution
Imagine the backlog of cases if every single case was litigated in front of a judge or jury. Plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases involving all types would have to wait years before any type of resolution.
Fortunately, negotiating a case – whether via the attorneys or an alternative dispute resolution method like mediation or arbitration – outside of court often takes a fraction of the time it takes to litigate.
Although every case different, resolving a case by utilizing an alternative resolution method, like mediation, is often less stressful on the parties.
With mediation, the parties typically meet in an informal environment and, with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator, discuss their dispute together and come to an agreement. Mediation is often used to resolve personal injury cases involving car accident injuries, slip and falls and medical malpractice disputes. It is also used to resolve commercial disputes, divorce matters and more.
Litigation can be expensive. The costs that coincides with court appearances, depositions and expert witnesses can and do add up significantly.
Negotiating a case outside of court allows parties to come to an agreement between each other without the need for many of the expenses typically involved in trying a case.
Each case is different, and the decision whether to resolve by way of mediation or arbitration or go to trial should be made based upon the facts and circumstances of each particular case. When choosing an attorney, find one that will explore all options, but who is also prepared to go to trial if alternative resolution methods fail.