Alternative Dispute Resolution

Posted on in Business Law

Illinois divorce lawyerWhat is alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and how can it help in DuPage County business law matters and family law cases? According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII), alternative dispute resolution is defined as “any method of resolving disputes without litigation.” In other words, alternative dispute resolution allows for grievances, complaints, and disputes to be handled outside of the courtroom. There are numerous types of ADR, but the two most common forms are arbitration and mediation. How do these ADR processes work, and why should businesses use them?

Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution Under Illinois Law

Chapter 70 of the Illinois Statutes governs alternative dispute resolution in the state. Examples that are often relevant to small business in DuPage County include but are not limited to:

  • Uniform Arbitration Act (710 ILCS 5/1 et seq.): This statute clarifies, for example, when an arbitration agreement is valid, how proceedings to compel or stay arbitration must be conducted, how arbitrators will be appointed, how hearings are conducted, rights of the parties to be represented by counsel, how witnesses can be called before an arbitration hearing, and how arbitration awards are finalized.
  • Uniform Mediation Act (710 ILCS 35/1 et seq.): This statute defines mediation as “a process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.” The statute clarifies, for instance, the scope of mediation, issues of privilege, the confidentiality of mediation proceedings, and when attorneys can participate in mediation.

In addition to the specific laws discussed above, the Illinois Statutes contain numerous other laws governing different forms of alternative dispute resolution, such as the International Commercial Arbitration Act, the Health Care Arbitration Act, and the Illinois Not-For-Profit Dispute Resolution Center Act.

Why Are Alternate Dispute Resolution Options Preferable to Litigation?

Why do businesses and other individuals often prefer alternative dispute resolution to litigation? In short, ADR can save substantial time and money. Depending upon the nature of your business or the specific issue at hand, you may be able to compel arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution can also keep the specific facts of a dispute confidential.

It is important to distinguish between arbitration and mediation when considering the best option for your business. Arbitration has some aspects of a courtroom proceeding, but it typically takes less time. Like in litigation, witnesses can be called in arbitration, and a hearing will commence. Typically, the arbitrator will listen to both sides and come to a conclusion (similar to a judge). In most situations, arbitrations are binding. Differently, mediation is more like a negotiation between two parties, and the mediator is there to facilitate rather than draw a binding conclusion. Mediation can fail, leading to litigation.

Often, mediation can also serve families who are dealing with divorce proceedings or other complicated matters that could be better resolved without going into the courtroom.

Discuss Your Case with an Oakbrook Terrace Business Lawyer

Do you have questions about how ADR can help your business? An experienced Oakbrook Terrace business lawyer can speak with you about alternative dispute resolution today. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing assistance to members of the Muslim community throughout DuPage County. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office today.



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