Alternative Dispute Resolution is a general phrase for providing an alternative form of litigation to resolve disputes. In general, parties who have disagreements in a Georgia divorce case go to court to ask a judge or jury to determine who is “right”. A divorce case in Georgia can be long and costly for the parties involved, the parties file a complaint / response, conduct extensive discovery (usually for a period of six months), heard in different motions, and ultimately have a final hearing on all issues involved in their Cobb County Divorce case. When a divorce in Georgia completes a case, under this system, it is not atypical for the whole process to taking over a year and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is an attempt to allow the parties in the Georgia divorce to develop their own “alternative” solution to the court rendering a decision on their case. In general, there are three basic forms of alternative dispute resolution that are commonly used in conjunction with, and sometimes instead of, the process of judgment in the court; mediation, arbitration and late case evaluation.
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (a “mediator”) seeks to facilitate discussions between the parties to help them develop the best solution to their disagreements. The mediator does not decide the issues involved. Instead, the mediator listens to both sides, usually separately, and tries to guide negotiations towards a win-win solution or a solution that ultimately, both sides can accept. The parties maintain absolute control over this process and are free to reject any offer of the other party at any time. Because the parties are developing their own solutions to their conflicts, often part of this process is finding a useful mechanism for resolving disputes.
Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution. As with mediation, there is a neutral third party (or panel of arbitrators and mediators) involved (“referees”). Unlike mediation, arbitrators can render decisions regarding elements of the case. Thus, it works like a judge entering a judgment in a case. The main difference between the traditional court system and arbitration is that arbitration is not limited by various laws. This allows the arbitrator to expedite the dispute and avoid long delays in resolving the divorce.
Late case evaluators are something of a hybrid approach of these two methods. As a mediator, they do not have the power to make decisions. Unlike a mediator, a case evaluator provides guidance on how he or she believes the case will come out if it goes all the way to trial.
There are numerous variations on these basic forms of alternative dispute resolution. Given the rising costs of litigation and delays inherent in our legal system, these systems are seeing increased use and are even increasing to be mandated by the courts before final judgement.
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Given the emotional, financial and legal impact of a divorce or criminal charge on you and your family, we work closely with you through every step of your case and even prepare you for life after your case is over.
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Attorney Diane Cherry has practiced law for more than 20 years. She is an aggressive trial attorney who knows when and how to fight hard and when a more subtle approach is more appropriate. She understands that some cases are more suitable for settlement or alternative dispute resolution, while others must be fought hard in court to the end. She has practiced in state and federal courtrooms throughout the area and have a long and successful track record.
Attorney Diane Cherry approaches legal problems by first trying to resolve them amicably without going through the time-consuming and expensive process of litigation. But if your case is one where litigation is warranted, remember that Diane Cherry is a trial lawyers who is not afraid to fight for you, and will be with you every step of the way.
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The Cherry Law Firm, P.C.
1301 Shiloh Road, Suite 1620
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144