Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) includes dispute
resolution processes and techniques that fall outside of the government
judicial process. The purpose of this page is to provide you with
information to help you think of different ways of resolving your disputes
There are three commonly used methods of resolving disputes without going to
Dispute resolution covers a range of choices, from negotiating a solution to
going to court. Each option should be viewed as a distinct process, but each
can be used alone or in combination.
Solving disagreements through negotiation is a part of everyday life.
Members who disagree can often communicate together to discuss the problem
and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. Negotiation is the cheapest mean
for solving a dispute and usually offers the highest opportunity to work out
a solution meeting the needs and interests of both parties. iGolder
provides a free private chat
where both parties can communicate and work together to reach a solution.
Most disputes can be solved gracefully with proper communication.
Negotiation is somewhat a "conflict management process", and often,
the negotiators focus on accusing and blaming each other rather than
generating options and creating value. Such negotiation style often leads to
a deadlock, where parties are unable to reach an agreement.
When negotiation is not sufficient to resolve a dispute, iGolder offers the
option to ask for a mediator.
Members involved in a dispute may ask a mediator, an unbiased and
impartial person, to assist them in their negotiations. The goal of
mediation is for the parties to reach an agreement to settle. Parties have an
equal say in the process and decide settlement terms, not the mediator.
There is no determination of guilt or innocence in the process. Where negotiation
has not been successful, the mediator can often help to ease tension,
encourage discussion between the parties and recommend solutions. Mediation
is a voluntary dispute resolution process; all parties must consent to
participate in good faith and work toward a mutually agreeable resolution. Mediating parties are not bound to resolve their dispute (although mediated
settlements, once reached, can be made binding if the parties decide to
draft a contract called a Settlement Agreement). Mediation
does not "decide" in favor of one party or another; however, the
mediator may counsel parties on the strengths and weaknesses of their case
and gauge each party's likelihood of success if the dispute proceeds to
arbitration or litigation.
The mediator might take an evaluative approach,
expressing opinions as to who is right or wrong and who is likely to win or
lose if the dispute were litigated or arbitrated. The aim is primarily to
settle the dispute and, if not, to improve understanding of the issues and
to narrow them.
The mediator might take an interests-based approach,
seeking to clarify the interests of the parties that underlie their
respective positions, so as to explore possible options for agreement that
would satisfy interests on both sides. When employed in the context of a
dispute, the aim is also primarily to settle the dispute but in a way which
might enable the parties to deal better with differences (with each other or
others) in the future. Creativity can be used to overcome the fixed-pie
perception and transform a deadlocked situation into integrative win-win
solution, enabling parties to think out-of-the-box to expand the pie.
The mediator might take the transformative approach,
which treats conflict as an opportunity for moral growth and transformation,
focusing on enhancing the parties’ relationship by empowering them to handle
their own situations better and to recognize each other’s concerns. Success
in transformative mediation means empowering the parties to deal better with
differences in future, even though today’s dispute may remain unresolved.
iGolder, the mediator joins the
chat, helping the buyer and seller finding a solution. The
mediator cannot force either party to settle the dispute or to accept a
particular solution. The mediator cannot issue any
demerit point, however may forward
the conversation to iGolder if a member was not respectful towards another. The cost of mediation is usually shared between
When members cannot resolve the dispute themselves, either through
negotiation or with the assistance of a mediator, they can agree to refer
the matter to arbitration. Arbitration is a faster, simpler, and less
expensive alternative to litigation. In arbitration, a neutral person (or panel of
neutral people) hears the facts
and makes a decision. Usually one arbitrator hears a small case. A
panel of three arbitrators may be appointed to hear a large, complex case,
if the parties so desire. The ability to select the arbitrator is a critical
advantage in arbitration over litigation. It enables the parties to select
individuals who are uniquely qualified, based on their education and
experience in the subject area. The usual result is a decision with which
the parties are more satisfied.
iGolder has a special name for arbitrators; we call them Alternative
Dispute Resolution Specialist, or ADR Specialist, or simply
Specialist. The parties can agree in advance on the ground rules for the arbitration,
and optionally pick in advance their ADR Specialist.,
The Safetransit™ interface makes it easy for
the parties to
upload and update the terms & conditions before making a trade. They
may also choose their ADR Specialist at the same time, or pick a specialist
only when a dispute occurs.
If the parties cannot agree on a specialist, then iGolder becomes the final
arbitrator of the dispute. iGolder is not a specialist however.
If the dispute is small, we will do our best to make a fair decision,
otherwise we will ask help from someone who is a specialist in the subject
matter, or simply appoint a specialist to resolve the dispute. It is in our interest to render arbitration as fair
as possible, because we want to keep all our members. Ideally, we aim to
reconcile both parties, where the buyer and seller will find beneficial to
trade again, leaving behind the dispute as a quarrel of the past.
The ADR Specialist then makes a decision based on the facts, any
contract between the members such as
chat conversations, documents
uploaded as Safetransit Conditions, emails,
and the applicable laws. With iGolder, the specialist must also explain how the decision
was reached, determine the award and make a decision on costs. The
arbitrator may issue a demerit point
to the "guilty" with sufficient evidence of dishonesty. Both
parties have the opportunity to rate the specialist's performance, such as
expertise in the subject, politeness and respect, convenience, prompt
resolution, and of course, fees.
Mediation - Arbitration (MedArb)
appealing attribute is that the dispute will be resolved,
one way or the other. Ideally, the parties will resolve their own
dispute through the mediation process, resulting in a mutually satisfactory agreement. However, if the matter
does not resolve in the mediation process, the neutral will put on
the arbitrator's hat and depending on the methodology used
(hearing or no hearing, as decided by the parties), complete the
arbitration process, culminating in the rendering of an award. The
dispute will effectively be resolved and the parties may move on
to bigger and better things.
Arbitration - Mediation (ArbMed)
This is the reverse of MedArb. The arbitrator’s award is sealed and
is not revealed while the arbitrator proceeds to conduct a mediation. If the
mediation is successful, the settlement agreement between the parties
governs the resolution of the dispute and the award is never unsealed.
However, if mediation fails to settle all issues, the arbitrator-mediator
will unseal the arbitral award and deliver it to the parties to resolve the
dispute. This procedure places the parties, during the mediation phase, in a
position of deciding whether they want to control the outcome of their
dispute by working out a solution or whether they want to be bound by the
unknown solution imposed upon them by the arbitrator. ArbMed avoids the
potential for manipulation that can take place in the MedArb procedure since
a decision has been made before mediation begins.
The use of ArbMed is a safe and common sense procedure for any dispute
that is required to be arbitrated since there is no downside to attempting
to mediate the dispute after the arbitration but before the award is
Benefits of ADR
The following list summarizes the advantages of using the Alternative
Dispute Resolution process, mostly regarding mediation:
- Lower Costs / Less Time. ADR processes may
save you both time and money. They are generally faster and less complex
than proceeding through the court system, and that can mean a savings in
legal fees and court costs. You can therefore resume business and
focus on your core competences.
- Maintaining Business Relationships. Disputes
often involve parties who have a business relationship and will need to
continue to work together after the dispute is resolved. These ADR
methods encourage people to work together at resolving the disagreement
which often results in improved business relationships and perhaps in
fewer new disputes.
- Getting at the Root of the Problem. Many
disputes are the result of underlying problems. ADR processes can get at
the issues which contributed to creating the dispute. At the same time,
they work towards a solution that is satisfactory for everyone involved.
- Expert Decision Makers. The issues
surrounding a dispute may involve technology and technical matters that
are difficult for a layperson to visualize and comprehend. In
litigation, the best attorney or the party who presents the best case
often win, regardless of who is actually right or wrong.
- Flexibility. There is much more room for
creativity when you resolve your dispute yourself or with the help of a
third party, rather than going to court. You can work together to arrive
at a solution that meets the needs of all parties.
- Control. You will have more control over both
the process and the outcome. Both parties have the opportunity to
check the background and experience of the specialist unless
specified in the dispute resolution section of their
contract. Parties usually agree when they find a specialist
who is knowledgeable and experienced in the field, and who is
fair and equitable to both parties. In civil litigation,
you have no options in the choice of your judge, and the
judge’s responsibility is to interpret and rule on matters of
law, not the contract you agreed upon.
- Predictability of Outcome. The outcome of
litigation is often characterized as an "all-or-nothing" result.
In the ADR procedures such as mediation, the outcome is based on the
extend of the parties' willingness to compromise, rather than than being
imposed on them. The final settlement, as a reflection of each
party's respective business interests, thus has a much more predictable
- Confidentiality. Dispute resolution process
and results are kept private and confidential. There are certain
circumstances where the law does require disclosure of information
though, such as the "duty to report" suspected or confirmed child abuse,
however such "disputes" are unlikely to apply to iGolder.
- Limited Discovery. Disputants’ attorneys, if
involved in the mediation or arbitration, will rarely pursue the
burdensome fishing expeditions that can occur in ordinary litigations.
- Personal Satisfaction. You are more likely to
be satisfied with both the process and outcome because you chose the ADR
process and played a more active role in resolving your dispute and
designing a solution that is best for you.
- Agreements That Last. Parties are more likely
to comply with an agreement that they helped design rather than one that
was imposed on them.
iGolder Dispute Resolutions
If you wish to initiate a dispute against another iGolder member, please visit our
dispute procedure rules to learn about
your available options, such as the necessary steps and the costs