alternative dispute resolution

Business conflicts arise for many reasons. Whether internal or external, disputes can quickly sour what was once a positive business relationship. Instead of jumping straight to court to resolve a dispute, other methods can be used to end the conflict in a way that is favorable to all parties involved. Alternative dispute resolution doesn’t work in every case, but it’s possible to rectify the situation with the help of a skilled third party and the correct method. 

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

The main purpose of alternative dispute resolution is to settle a dispute without going through court. In business, alternative dispute resolution is beneficial to both parties in many ways. It’s often beneficial for both parties in a business dispute to remain confidential. Additionally, dispute resolution is less costly and takes less time than going through litigation. In many cases, both parties in the dispute feel that the resolution is more fair and balanced when completed through alternative dispute resolution methods. 

Conflicts can arise in a number of ways, including with contracts, direction of the business, and can even involve outside parties. It’s important for all parties to enter the resolution process with a flexible attitude, open mind, and willingness to communicate and collaborate. Finding the right method for resolution is a key part of the process.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

Each commercial dispute is different. Likewise, the type of resolution strategy looks different for each case. Sometimes, commercial disputes require a more formal approach, while others prefer to keep things casual. Regardless of the methods used, the point of alternative dispute resolution is to avoid the complexities and costs of court while bringing the dispute to a conclusion that all parties find beneficial.


Often, mediation is the first strategy used in alternative dispute resolution. It allows both sides to present their case to a mediator, who serves as an impartial party. Tensions are often high in commercial dispute cases, and mediation might be the first chance for each party to hear the other’s perspective. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to resolve the dispute, but it requires an experienced mediator such as a commercial litigation attorney. The mediator will suggest resolutions, but the final decision is ultimately up to the parties in dispute.


During arbitration, a neutral third party hears arguments from both sides of the dispute and presents a final decision. Arbitration is a more formal method of dispute resolution in that it’s similar to a court trial. The decision made by the arbitrator can be either binding or non-binding, which provides the parties in dispute with options for coming to an agreement. 

There are several other methods of dispute resolution, but mediation and arbitration are the most common. Other strategies, such as minitrials, may work better in certain situations. Minitrials offer legally binding resolutions decided by a third party. If you aren’t sure which strategy best suits your circumstances, a consultation with a dispute resolution attorney will give you the best idea of how to resolve the dispute. 

Commercial Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin commercial litigation attorney can help you find the best approach to resolve your commercial dispute. At Attolles Law, S.C., our experienced law team has found resolutions in even the most complex commercial cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you decide which strategy is best for you and whether litigation is necessary.