Alternative Dispute Resolution Calgary

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Not all disputes need to end up moving through the court system. At Navigator Law, we can operate as an unbiased mediator to ensure that both parties are treated fairly. Through alternative dispute resolution, we can help you create an alternative resolution to your issues that balances the needs of both parties.

WHAT IS ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION?

Alternative dispute resolution involves various ways of resolving a dispute without going to court. Generally, alternative dispute resolution is consensual in nature and both parties consent to an alternative conflict resolution method.

Parties who engage in alternative dispute resolution are often able to tailor the dispute resolution process and the outcome of the dispute to their specific needs.

Courts may request that alternative dispute resolutions be pursued prior to litigation, such as through the Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) program. That is because alternative dispute resolution can often save time and money for both the courts and the parties involved.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION METHODS

Negotiation

If you have a disagreement with another party, you may wish to meet to discuss a mutual agreement to resolve the problem. This is referred to as negotiation and it allows both parties to work together to come up with a solution to a dispute. You may wish to hire a lawyer to help you negotiate or to negotiate on your behalf so you can ensure that your interests are effectively communicated to the opposing party.

Mediation

Even after litigation has commenced, either party may request to initiate mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that involves an unbiased and impartial third party, called a mediator, that assists the parties in reaching a voluntary solution.

The purpose of mediation is not to decide who is right or wrong. Instead, an informed mediator will provide their insights on a dispute to help both parties find a solution that satisfies everyone involved. Mediators are not appointed by the court, so parties may choose to select a mediator who is knowledgeable in the subject matter.

Arbitration

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Arbitration is a more formal alternative dispute resolution method that is similar to traditional litigation. In an arbitration hearing, parties may choose to have a lawyer speak on their behalf. The process also involves one or more arbitrators, who are often experts in a particular industry or area of law that are selected to act as decision-makers and hear both parties and their witnesses.

Unlike agreements made through mediation, arbitrators can make a decision that is legally binding based on applicable laws and the evidence of the case.

Arbitration is also different from litigation because it takes place in a private setting rather than a public court. Unlike litigation where one party may force another party to litigate a dispute in court, private arbitration must be mutually agreed upon by both parties.

BENEFITS OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

No matter which alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method you pursue, the process is often beneficial to both parties for the following reasons:

TYPES OF DISPUTES COMMONLY RESOLVED WITH ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Though it is a common belief that most disputes are resolved in court, the majority of disputes are actually resolved through alternative means. Many different types of disputes can be resolved through ADR. The following are a few examples of the most common types of disputes resolved via these means:

Family Law Disputes

Family members pursuing disputes related to family mediation, spousal support, child custody, divorce proceedings, parenting plans, and child support may wish to resolve their dispute via alternative dispute resolution with the help of a family lawyer and family justice services. This can help protect familial relationships, as traditional litigation tends to be adversarial in nature.

In March 2020, the Alberta Rules of Court were amended to allow a Justice to order that parties involved in family law disputes participate in an alternative dispute resolution process before they pursue traditional litigation.

Housing Disputes

Examples of housing disputes that are commonly resolved via alternative dispute resolution include instances of housing discrimination and landlord negligence. Both the landlord and the tenant must agree to an alternative dispute resolution method for this option to proceed.

Business Law Workplace Disputes
Business disputes such as business debt and contract disputes or workplace disputes such as harassment or wage disputes may be resolved using alternative dispute resolution methods if both parties want the dispute to remain private.

Personal Injury Disputes

Examples of personal injury disputes that may be resolved through an alternative dispute resolution method include cases such as medical malpractice or motor vehicle collisions.

HOW NAVIGATOR LAW CAN HELP FACILITATE ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Navigator Law’s legal team can help you resolve a dispute as efficiently as possible through alternative dispute resolution.

Our lawyers can help you navigate your negotiation, mediation, or arbitration process to ensure that the outcome is reasonable and achieved in a fair and unbiased manner.

If you are pursuing dispute resolution through mediation, our lawyers can act as a knowledgeable mediator to help you find a solution that satisfies the interests of both parties. If you are pursuing dispute resolution through negotiation or arbitration, our lawyers will ensure that your interests are effectively and accurately represented.

CONTACT US

Contact Navigator Law to ensure that you have lawyers on your side for any kind of dispute resolution.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

At Navigator Law, we recommend pursuing alternative dispute resolution as soon as possible after a dispute occurs. The sooner you pursue alternative dispute resolution, the easier it is to agree on a solution that satisfies both parties. As time passes, disputes become increasingly difficult to resolve which could result in a dispute being taken to court rather than resolved via a more inexpensive and efficient alternative.

Most cases can be resolved via an alternative dispute resolution process. Contact us to find out the best dispute resolution strategy to pursue for your case.

Though there are several benefits to resolving a dispute through an alternative dispute resolution method, there are times when traditional litigation is necessary. The following are several situations when alternative dispute resolution is not an option:
  • The case involves violence or a threat of violence
  • One of the litigants wants the dispute to be public
  • The case involves a power imbalance
  • Many people could be affected by the outcome of the case

Judicial Dispute resolution is similar to alternative dispute resolution because both are private settlements resolved outside of the courts. A judicial dispute resolution involves both parties meeting with a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench to confidentially discuss the case and possible solutions. The purpose is to either resolve the dispute so a trial becomes unnecessary or to reduce trial time by resolving certain issues related to the case.

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