Sample Law Paper on Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

Sample Law Paper on Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods


Alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) unlike trials are less formal, less expensive and consumes less time (Hensler and Deborah 2003). They also put in the hands of the affected, the freedom to decide on the best solution. This paper aims at elaborating on these methods in the order of values as I perceive them.


Negotiation is the process in which conflicting parties sit together to talk towards finding a solution. This is a suitable method because of its flexibility and it is also all inclusive as both the parties table their opinions after which a consensus is reached. The parties’ participation is also voluntary as there is no force involved in the process. Because of these reasons I regard this method first in my list in terms of value.


In this method the rivals introduce a neutral third party known as the mediator to help them reach an agreement. This method of ADR is also at the top of my list because like negotiation the decision is made by those in conflicts while the mediator acting only as the guide or connecting factor. For example in Kenya, after the 2007 general elections there were clashes all over the country and the winner of the presidential candidacy was not clear so who served as the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations served as a mediator and a solution was found. Because of this I would rank this method second.



Like mediation, arbitration involves the inclusion of a third party in finding a solution to the conflict between parties or individuals. The arbitrator critically examines the evidence presented by both parties and makes a mutually binding decision on behalf of the parties. In this case the verdict given is known as an award. The third party can be a single individual or a group of arbitrators. The decision made is also enforceable in the courts. This method has some setbacks however, for example the parties are not directly involved in the decision making. There are different types of arbitration namely binding and non-binding. In binding arbitration the decision made by the arbitrator is considered as final as the parties waive their rights for a trial while in non-binding the parties can move to trials should they find the decision unsatisfactory.


Minitrial is like mediation where the conflicting parties present their grievances before a panel of people who listen to their grievances and then come up with a solution. The parties are not however directly involved in the process of finding a satisfactory solution. The conflicting parties have their respective attorneys who act as a channel in which they present their grievances. This method is therefore more costly in terms both finances and time. This method is always preferred by business entities who are in conflicts. A minitrial is also always conducted after a formal litigation has already been carried out.

Rent-a-judge Trial

In this method the two parties can by-pass the courts by finding a judge in most cases a retired judge to act as a mediator and give a reward. This method of dispute resolution is also costly as the hired judge has to be paid. This limits it to the people who can afford to pay a judge. According to me this would be the last method of ADR in my list since it is limited to specific people and the judge coon also be biased in their verdict.



Hensler, Deborah R. “Our courts, ourselves: How the alternative dispute resolution movement is re-shaping our legal system.” Penn St. L. Rev. 108 (2003): 165.