Alternative Dispute Resolution in Northern Washington

Attorneys helping clients resolve disputes out of court

With court dockets growing more crowded every day, courts in Washington State and indeed throughout the country are vigorously encouraging litigants to use alternative dispute resolution to resolve their issues without resorting to a lengthy litigation and trial process. Unfortunately, many experienced litigators are hesitant to embrace this new trend. But the Bellingham alternative dispute resolution attorneys of Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka LLP appreciate the benefits this new approach offers for our clients and maintain a robust arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution practice.

Why ADR is beneficial to businesses

Alternative dispute resolution — or ADR — is a blanket term for a variety of methods that allow an ADR attorney to resolve complex business disputes without the delay and expense of Bellingham business litigation. ADR is of frequent utility in businesses disputes and can also be beneficial in handling family law disputes, employee complaints and personal injury claims. ADR includes both mediation and arbitration.

In mediation, the parties to a dispute meet under the supervision of an impartial mediator to exchange evidence and discuss a resolution. The mediator, often a Bellingham ADR lawyer, is not a judge and does not decide the case but simply attempts to facilitate discussion and compromise. Arbitration is more similar to a court proceeding. In this process, each party presents its case to one or more impartial arbitrators. Each side can present witnesses, documentary evidence and arguments before the arbitrators confer and render a decision.

Both arbitration and mediation carry similar benefits. They are both faster than traditional litigation because they are not beholden to a court’s busy calendar. They are also substantially less expensive than litigation because they avoid court fees and necessitate less costly discovery. And while court proceedings are public record, ADR is a private matter that is ideal for cases involving sensitive information. Mediation has the added benefit of being non-adversarial, allowing the parties to work together and making it easier to preserve a future business relationship.

Consult a law firm that is leading the way in ADR practice

The attorneys of Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka LLP are fully committed to getting cost-effective results for our clients through negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. From our offices in Bellingham, WA, we serve clients throughout Whatcom, Island, Skagit and San Juan counties and British Columbia, providing an alternative to the expensive and impersonal Seattle firms. Contact us today online or by calling 360.671.6565 to schedule a consultation.