Dispute Resolution: What To Know
At The Law Office of Wright & Associates, LLC, many clients come to us because of a complex dispute involving a client, vendor, contractor or other party. As a team of experienced litigators, we understand firsthand the value of skilled alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Strategic ADR can preserve your resources, minimize tensions between you and the other party, and expedite the resolution of the dispute.
To help you better understand dispute resolution, we have summarized the key steps of the process in Ohio. Read on to learn what to expect when you need to resolve a complex dispute.
- Initial consultation
At your initial consultation with The Law Office of Wright & Associates, LLC, you will sit down with one of our attorneys. We will assess your current situation and inform you of your rights and options. Then, we can determine a course of action.
In this stage, the parties to a dispute meet to present their sides before an impartial case evaluator. The evaluator can provide insight regarding each party’s position and the potential decision of an arbitrator or judge.
- Pre-suit negotiations
You have the opportunity to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the dispute outside of court through private negotiations. Each side will sit down with the other party and their attorneys to discuss possible solutions.
- Lawsuit or arbitration
If negotiations do not lead to a settlement, then filing a lawsuit, entering arbitration or entering mediation is the next step.
- If a lawsuit is filed, both parties present their case and a judge or jury will issue a final decision regarding the dispute.
- If the dispute enters arbitration, both parties present their case to a panel of 1-3 arbiters who are hired to decide the matter.
- If the dispute enters mediation, the parties hire a mediator to help them negotiate a settlement.
Regardless of whether a lawsuit is filed or the dispute enters arbitration, the next stage in the legal process is the Discovery stage. If the dispute enters mediation, it may or may not enter the discovery stage.
The discovery stage allows parties to determine the evidence that will be presented in court or the witnesses who will testify. Two common ways in which discovery will take place include written discovery and depositions.
- Written: Written discovery involves producing documents related to the dispute and interrogatories, which are written answers to written questions.
- Depositions: In a deposition, a person involved in the dispute gives a statement under oath. The attorneys for each party may ask questions to the witness.
Another option for dispute resolution is mediation. In mediation sessions, parties sit down with a neutral mediator who guides both sides toward a compromise.
When all other methods of resolving a dispute fail, the case will proceed to trial. In a trial, the plaintiff first presents its side of the story before a judge or jury. Then, the defendant has a chance to present their evidence. The judge or jury will deliberate, then issue a final decision. Their decision may include an amount for the plaintiff’s award. Either party may still be able to appeal the decision in a higher court.
Learn More About The Dispute Resolution Process
This is merely a summary of several very complex steps. When you sit down with one of our team members, we can discuss dispute resolution in greater detail. We can also give you an idea of what to expect in your own business or real estate dispute. To schedule an initial consultation with us, please contact our Columbus office at 614-715-4686 or send us an email.