Traditional litigation versus ADR
With the growing popularity of the alternative conflict resolution methods, approximately 90% of the cases and conflicts in the business world today are solved informally. There are quite a number of differences and similarities between the traditional litigation and the alternative conflict resolution methods, also referred to as the alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The major difference lies in the fact that litigation is a formal method of resolving conflicts while the ADR methods are informal and do not engage the courts of law as the key decision making authority (Fiadjoe, 2004). Unlike litigation and the jury system, ADR engage such neutral parties as the mediators and the negotiators. Worth noting that as for the ADR, the parties may not engage a third party, they may, as well, sit down and have locally arranged negotiations that seek a mutually acceptable decision.
Apparently, the litigation and jury systems of conflict resolution engage the law as the point of reference in making decisions aimed at solving conflicts. On the contrary, the ADR use mutual reasoning and understanding in coming up with resolutions to conflicts. Apparently, the ADR do not observe any particular procedure as is the case with the traditional litigation. This makes the informal conflict resolution a way of achieving faster resolutions and decisions (Moyer, 2001). On the same note, the alternative methods of conflict resolution eliminate the limitations of bureaucratic procedures involved in the court systems.
The risks that businesses encounter when dealing with traditional litigation
Traditional litigation is associated with quite a number of risks, especially when dealing with businesses and any other organization that operate as a going concern. Perhaps the most prominent risk posed by the traditional litigation is the fact that it may cost the business too much in terms of money and other resources. The fact that court proceedings may trigger the need for lawyers and other legal counsels is an obvious cause for increase in the unforeseen expenses of the company (Moyer, 2001). Such unforeseen disturbances may likely impair the organization’s ability to deliver their long term goal. The second risk that an organization is exposed to when engaging in traditional litigation is time wastage.
The fact that traditional litigation is a procedural method of going about dispute resolution is an apparent indication that time will be consumed in the court procedure causing various inconsistencies and disturbances tot eh smooth operations f the organization. The third risk that an organization may be exposed to by engaging traditional methods of conflict resolution is subjectivity. Apparently, organizations that go to court to seek dispute resolution are vulnerable since such litigation is characterized by corruption and subjective decision making (Fiadjoe, 2004). Additionally, the subjectivity comes in the sense that the outcome of the case depends on the legal mastery of the representative of a business. The law can always be twisted to have the expected outcome thrashed. This may have adverse effects, including the winding up of a business.
Where the ADR might be appropriate in reducing such risks
The ADR can definitely be the most appropriate remedy for the above weaknesses of the traditional litigation. The major way through which such ADR can remedy the inefficiencies of the litigation process is through reducing the time taken to arrive at an agreement. This is partly because ADR do not have the bureaucratic time consuming procedures. Additionally, the ADR involve the use of local arrangements which can reduce inconveniences for both parties (Moyer, 2001). The level f objectivity in ADR is considerably high compared to litigation, since in ADR; the party overseeing the negotiations is a neutral party that is not inclined to either party. ADR can be efficient and appropriate where there is urgency. Faster decisions are arrived at, reducing the risk of paralyzed operations due to the time wasted on litigation bureaucracy. Apparently, litigation is more appropriate method as it reduces chances of winding up in the event that the organization involved is a registered company or any big business organization.
Fiadjoe, A. (2004). Alternative Dispute Resolution. London: Cavendish.
Moyer, I. L. (2001). Criminological Theories: Traditional and Nontraditional Voices and Themes. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.