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  • Matthew Rosenbaum

Why Choose ADR Over Litigation

For many types of cases, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers a better alternative to litigation. Provided below are a few important reasons why you should consider resolving your dispute through ADR before heading to court.


Speed. ADR has always provided a more expedited approach to dispute resolution. Court cases “normally” take more than a year to get to trial and several more years to resolve if subsequently appealed. However, the disruption caused by Covid-19 has slowed the process down much further. Even as the pandemic has apparently begun to wane, significant delays will inevitably occur as courts attempt to absorb the large backlog of cases that remain on their dockets. These delays have provided litigants with additional incentives to turn to ADR to fast track their cases and have an experienced former jurist help them settle their disputes in a fraction of the time it would take to resolve their matters through a bogged down court system.


Cost. Mediations and arbitrations are significantly less expensive because they take much less time to resolve than the long, slow process of litigation. Less time spent settling a dispute means lower costs for attorneys’ fees and other expenses associated with litigation, which can amount in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Utilizing the services of an internationally recognized organization, such as the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), can further help streamline and efficiently dispose of a client’s case.


Finality. Arbitration is generally binding on the parties. Decisions are final and appeal rights are very limited. Similarly, mediation can result in a binding settlement that effectively ends the dispute, saving the parties time and money. By way of example, the AAA generally requires all arbitration matters to be decided within twenty-one days of the hearing. And that decision is final. In contrast, court cases can involve multiple appeals and drag on for years, substantially increasing the time and expense of litigation.


Choice of neutral. The parties can feely select an appropriate mediator or arbitrator (e.g., an experienced former judge) with subject matter expertise who is familiar with the relevant issues in the case, rather than “rolling the dice” with a judge randomly assigned to their case by the court. A less experienced jurist will only lengthen a litigant’s case, create costly appeals and may not have the abilities to efficiently navigate the matter. The ability to pick a judge with knowledge and experience far outweighs allowing a system to arbitrarily pick a jurist who is less experienced or does not have the temperament to hear your case.


During the past year, Rosenbaum Mediations has helped resolve numerous cases effectively and efficiently, allowing the parties to move on with their lives. Mediations were generally resolved within a day or two; arbitrations were decided within three weeks of the hearing, resulting in significant cost savings for the parties. For the reasons outlined above, I encourage attorneys and their clients to carefully consider the benefits of having an experienced former jurist handle their disputes through ADR, rather than wait it out through lengthy and expensive court proceedings.


~ Hon. Matthew Rosenbaum(ret.), is a retired NYS Supreme Court Justice, founder of Rosenbaum Mediations, PLLC, and a panelist for the AmericanArbitration Association. He has resolved thousands of cases, both small and highly complex. For more information, go to www.RosenbaumMediations.com.


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