Are you in the midst of a dispute, or have a hunch that conflict is approaching, and you’re beginning to dread the possibility of having to endure the slow and expensive process that the traditional court system provides? Luckily, several other options are available to save you – and us – a significant amount of time, stress, and money. 


Like you, we at iCLAW also want to avoid your dispute ending up in the hands of the courts. Of course, we are well equipped to tackle these issues if court intervention is necessary, but we prefer to pursue alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques where possible. Often, because of the adversarial nature of the court system and the lack of control that you have over your dispute once the courts take over, both parties can be left feeling like they’ve lost out – even the “winning” party. ADR, however, allows the parties to take conflict resolution into their own hands, providing a more equitable and amicable way to solve things. 


The first port of call (an option that people often forget) should always be – you guessed it – talking! This may seem obvious, but many people get so caught up in a trail of misunderstandings and poor communication that they never once stop and think that talking to the other person could clear things up. Open communication can often prevent smaller miscommunications from turning into unnecessary litigation.


Other forms of ADR that are available:

  • Mediation: Commonly used in employment scenarios, having an impartial third party on the sideline to help facilitate and guide a negotiation and resolution both parties agree to. The mediator does not make any decisions for the participants; instead, they act as a referee, providing a more focused medium for a compelling conversation while leaving the decision-making powers in your hands. 


  • Arbitration: Unlike mediation, an arbitrator has the power to make decisions on behalf of the parties. This is often used for construction-based disputes and business-to-business contractual disputes (depending on the contract and subject matter).


  • Disputes Tribunal: Like arbitration, the Disputes Tribunal’s “referees” have the power to make a binding award. The Disputes Tribunal is for claims up to $30,000.00, and commonly used to enforce informal/verbal contracts between homeowners and contractors, fencing disputes between neighbours, damage caused by others to your vehicle or home, and general disputes over goods or services. The Disputes Tribunal is a cost-effective way to solve disputes that would otherwise be uneconomical to pursue in the court system, and which allows parties several hours over several hearings (if required) to dive into the heart of the issues, resulting in a binding award from the referee. 


ADR stands tall as a swift, cost-effective, and collaborative solution to your problems. Take control of your disputes, and talk to the team at iCLAW about how we can help.