Houston Civil Litigation – Dispute Resolution
Not every legal dispute requires a courtroom trial. Although many consumer and business law issues do require a formal trial in state or federal court, the majority of disputes between individuals and businesses can be resolved by other means. Non-trial methods of resolving disputes are collectively known as “alternative dispute resolution” or simply “dispute resolution.”
A Closer Look at Dispute Resolution in Houston and Galveston
Non-litigatory methods of dispute resolution generally resemble negotiations between the involved parties. In most cases, these negotiations are brokered by an impartial third party who either carries a special license to handle such matters or is a retired lawyer, judge or other legal professional.
Arbitration and mediation are two common forms of dispute resolution. In arbitration proceedings, the third-party arbitrator – often a retired or still-practicing legal professional – weighs the arguments presented by each party and arrives at a binding or non-binding resolution. Civil litigation attorneys typically advise clients before, throughout and after the process, presenting arguments that may be beneficial during arbitration.
In mediation, the parties negotiate over the terms of a dispute under the supervision of a licensed third-party mediator who has extensive experience with such matters. Unlike arbitration, mediation is a “consensual” process during which the parties attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. The mediator does not have the ability to issue an enforceable decision. Any resolution is the result of a compromise between the parties. At times, said resolution may serve as the basis for further negotiation or other dispute resolution actions. As with arbitration, the mediation process is greatly aided by the presence of an experienced attorney.
Dispute resolution is suitable in a wide range of civil situations, including:
- Divorce or separation proceedings
- Negotiations over alimony and other forms of financial support
- Debt settlement and related negotiations between creditors and debtors
- Personal injury matters that do not require a courtroom trial
In the vast majority of cases, dispute resolution is far less expensive and time-consuming – and thus far more cost-effective – than bringing a case to court. While it is important to stress that dispute resolution is not appropriate or possible in all civil matters, we are happy to outline the benefits and drawbacks for current and prospective clients.
An Effective Approach to Solving Legal Disputes
At the Law Offices of Lambert & Jakob, we pride ourselves on a meticulous and compassionate approach to dispute resolution. Our dispute resolution services perfectly complement the other legal services that we provide, including business planning, corporate law and consumer law. In fact, many of our commercial litigation and real estate law clients trust us to handle a wide range of legal matters through the dispute resolution means described above.
Contact Us Today
If you would like to learn more about our Houston civil litigation services, including mediation and arbitration, please call (713) 640-5700 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Harris County lawyer.