How to Avoid Litigation by using Mediation or Arbitration

The most recent trend in litigation is to avoid it.  That’s right, just say “no” to litigation.  If you anticipate or are currently involved in a divorce, business dispute, personal injury case, neighborhood or condominium argument, landlord and tenant disagreement, or almost any form of dispute imaginable, you should consider alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).  The two (2) primary forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration.

The mediation process involves an agreement to choose a mediator to help the parties resolve whatever conflict they are experiencing.  A mediator generally does not give advice (legal or otherwise) but instead focuses on assisting the parties in understanding the key elements of their dispute and resolving them in a mutually satisfactory manner.

The arbitration process involves an agreement to choose an arbitrator or arbitrators who will hear each party’s side of the conflict.  He or she will then decide the conflict in favor of one party or maybe somewhere in the middle.

The advantages of mediation and arbitration can be great when compared to litigation.  In fact, advantages are so great every department of the New Hampshire Court system offers or mandates some form of mediation.

Some of the advantages of mediation and arbitration are as follows:

1. Avoidance of litigation expense including attorney’s fees;

2. Avoidance of litigation time which can take months or even years;

3. Avoidance of litigation uncertainty because neither party knows how the litigation will be resolved by a judge or jury;

4. Satisfaction with the voluntary resolution that you participated in & helped craft during the process instead of having a resolution imposed upon you; and

5. The possibility of reconciliation with the opposing party after misconceptions are ironed out and a voluntary resolution reached.

At Welts, White & Fontaine, our goal is to resolve whatever problem or dispute our client is facing.  We encourage mediation and arbitration when appropriate and offer these options in every practice area.  However, we also recognize in some disputes litigation is the only option and will represent our clients professionally and aggressively in every court in New Hampshire as needed.

Attorney Thompson practices in the area of Mediation/Arbitration and can be reached at or (603) 883-0797 extension 527.