What are my alternatives to starting a lawsuit?

Civil Lawsuit

Aug 30, 2016

If you intend to bring a claim against another party, you need to retain a lawyer to advise you on your legal rights. Before you sue, you may want to consider the alternatives to starting a lawsuit.

Going to trial is not only expensive, but time consuming. There are a number of alternative ways to resolve your dispute before you start a court case you may want to consider negotiation, mediation or arbitration.


Negotiation can occur directly between two parties or can occur by a litigation lawyer acting on a party’s behalf. Through this procedure, parties can send a letter or engage in a discussion to determine what each party is seeking, and why they should do or pay what the other party wants.


Mediation is a process that focuses on reaching an agreement between parties. During mediation, a neutral mediator will facilitate discussions between the disputing parties. The final agreements and decisions are made by the parties themselves, not by the mediator, however the mediator will help each party reach a lasting settlement decision.

Mediation is the right alternative when each party is focused on reaching an agreement and desire a common outcome. A mediator does not replace your lawyer. You will need a lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are protected and your lawyer will review your mediation document before you sign.


Arbitration differs from mediation as the outcome is decided by the arbitrator. In this process, parties submit their dispute to a neutral third party arbitrator, the arbitrator will consider the evidence presented and will then make a final and legally binding decision surrounding the dispute.

Arbitration is the right alternative when the parties are unable to solve the dispute themselves and do not want to engage in a lawsuit or court trial.

Finding a litigation lawyer to act on your behalf

The traditional litigation process is lengthy, when parties choose to resolve their disputes through negotiation, mediation or arbitration it provides the opportunity to reach an outcome in a shortened time period.  For legal assistance with a negotiation, mediation or arbitration, consult with one of the commercial or civil litigation lawyers from Chown Cairns law firm.