When many people think about trying to take legal steps to solve a dispute, they automatically think of litigation. As such, any attorneys or other legal professionals on their side are going to be working directly for them. These individuals are part of their team, and they are working against the other individual and that person‘s legal team.
But this is not how alternative dispute resolution works. Instead, the person who is facilitating the process will be known as a third-party neutral. There are some other terms that are often used for this person, such as an arbitrator or a mediator. What is the difference with a third-party neutral?
They are not focusing on either side
A third-party neutral is someone who is simply trying to find a resolution. They are not focused on helping either side “win” or get their way. Instead, they are helping both sides work together to consider all of their legal options and find a way to get through the issue without litigation.
This is often done because individuals do not want to have the level of conflict that litigation with create, and they also think that litigation would be costly and time-consuming. For instance, two business owners may find themselves in a dispute. They don’t want to sue each other, but they can’t find a solution to the dispute and they are not sure of their legal rights. The third-party neutral can inform them of the legal options that they have and help them explore how these could be used to come to a satisfactory conclusion.
Since this is such a different process, it does have benefits that are not possible with litigation. It’s often important for anyone involved in a dispute to know what legal options they have.