In Illinois, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods may be used to resolve business disputes outside of a traditional court process. ADR can provide parties with more flexibility and control over the resolution process and it can be faster and less expensive than going to court.
Mediation and Arbitration
Mediation involves a neutral third party, called a mediator, who helps the parties communicate and negotiate a resolution. The mediator does not decide the outcome for the parties but assists them in reaching an agreement. Mediation is a voluntary process, and the parties have the final say in the outcome.
Arbitration is a more formal ADR process where parties present their case to a neutral third party, called an arbitrator. The arbitrator’s decision, called an award, is typically binding. The parties’ rights to appeal may also be limited.
Common business disputes
There are several business disputes that may be resolved through mediation or arbitration. These include breach of contract, contract term interpretation, accusations of non-payment or addressing performance obligations.
Business partnership disagreements that involve decision-making, profit distribution or dissolution of the partnership may also be addressed.
If the business has employees, it may also choose to address employment disputes through mediation or arbitration. This might include issues related to wrongful termination, wage disputes or non-complete agreements.
Also, it is not uncommon that a business may have a disagreement with a vendor or supplier over the delivery of goods, quality issues, missing payments or breach of warranties.
An ADR process may resolve these concerns more efficiently than a traditional court process. However, if the parties cannot come to an agreement, they still have the option to go to court.