The arbitration method of alternative dispute resolutions has its roots as early as Ancient Greece and Rome. However, its modern application as it exists dates back to English law, with the Arbitration Act of 1697. The practice of arbitration to help settle dispute between opposing parties has been implemented throughout time, and has proven to a viable method today, particularly with disagreements dealing with international commercial contracts.
With technology being as advanced as it is today, arbitration can even take place online, in which the claim is filed online, and the judgment is reached based upon the documents uploaded by both parties. Arbitration helps disputing parties resolve the disagreement by an impartial third party, with the hopes of avoiding bringing the matter to court.
It is not a surprise that mediation has similar roots as arbitration in its relation in law history. Ancient Rome recognized the practice and went as far as delegating the third party mediator an actual title. In some cultures, a mediator was considered a high cultural position with an important function in the society. Mediators in some ancient civilizations also were tribal chiefs or wise men held in high regard.
Mediation is similar to arbitration, but they are not one in the same. The differences are many, but one of the main distinctions is that a mediator does not actively provide for a decision in mediation. The opposing parties themselves are responsible for creating the negotiation and settlement, and the mediator simply facilitates the process.
Summary Jury Trials
Summary jury trials are a relatively new option in terms of alternative dispute resolutions, but are proven to become a more popular avenue explored by disputing parties. The ultimate purpose behind a summary jury trial is to essentially give the involved parties an opportunity to reconsider other alternative dispute resolutions before entering an actual court trial. A summary jury trial is essentially a mock trial, in which the court proceedings occur as if the matter was being tried in court, but in curtailed and concise fashion. A verdict is rendered by the jury, which is unaware that the proceedings are non-binding. This gives the parties the opportunity to preview how the matter is to be resolved real world situation in a jury trial.
Roles of Paralegals in ADR
Alternative dispute resolutions, for the most part, center around the actual participation of the involved parties in resolving the disagreement for themselves, without having to enter the judicial court system to render a decision. However, that is not to say that the proceedings do not involve legal and technical terms. The assistance and employment of a paralegal can certainly provide for an advantage throughout the proceedings in ADR, and would prove to be a beneficial consideration for the involved parties. A paralegal has a number of responsibilities or duties in ADR proceedings to the extent that paralegals can strictly specialize their careers in ADR proceedings. Paralegals help their respective parties understand the legal and technical terms, as well as help draft the necessary materials such as settlements or negotiations, and binding terms.
Evaluation of ADR Techniques
Alternative Dispute Resolutions methods are employed to keep disputes and disagreements between two parties to evaluate whether the matter can be resolved or negotiated outside of the court room. Therefore, any kind of legal dispute that can be litigated can be subject to alternative dispute resolutions. This may include, but is not limited to, labor relations, insurance matters, business disagreements, family problems, employment, public policy, commercial and industrial trade, and technology matters. However, it is important to be knowledgeable of the ADR techniques and how each functions for certain methods may prove to have better applications in certain fields than others.