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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Legal form of the businesses involved in the dispute

This dispute involves a supplier of vegetables and a local supermarket. The supplier delivered products to the supermarket and when he came to collect the check, he was informed that half of his supplies had perished and could not be sold. The supermarket, therefore, gave him a check of $ 5000 which was half the value of what he had delivered. The supermarket claimed that it had disposed the products that were in a bad shape the previous day. However, the supplier was convinced that his products were very fresh because he had just taken them from his farm that same day he delivered them. Moreover, he claimed that it was malicious for the supermarket to fail to inform him immediately, waiting for the day he went for the check to break the news.

How this case would be processed through the court system?

The two parties must find a solution that would help address the problems they are facing. One of the common ways of addressing conflicts is through litigation (Blanchfield & Ladd, 2008). When the two decides to use this approach, the aggrieved party will be expected to go to court to initiate the proceedings. The court will summon the defendant, which in this case is the supermarket. Then there will be the first appearance where the charges will be read to the defendants and a date for hearing set (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse, & Miall, 2011). There will be arrangement where the defendant will make a plea of guilty or not guilty before the court (Corvette, 2009). In case the defendant says that he is innocent of the charges, then the case will proceed to trial.

At the trial stage, both parties may need to rely on their lawyers to skillfully argue their case out. After the hearings, the judge will be expected to give a verdict based on the evidence presented in court. The verdict may be that the defendant is either guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is found to be guilty, then an appropriate sentence will be given to compensate the plaintiff. If the defendant is found to be innocent, then the case will be dismissed, and the plaintiff may be instructed to pay for all the cost of the litigation process that the defendant incurred. In case any of the parties is not satisfied with the verdict, they can make an appeal to higher courts where the process will start all over again (Barsky, 2014).

Recommended method of alternative dispute resolution

The two parties can address this issue through alternative dispute resolution methods that do not involve going to court. The best method of dispute resolution that is recommended for the two parties is mediation. Mediation is chosen because it will ensure that the two parties can work out their differences and come up with a solution that is acceptable to both of them. As it is, the two parties still need each other to continue with their businesses. The supermarket still needs the supplier to provide it with products that it sells to its customers. This mutual relationship should be maintained. However, this cannot be the case when they go to court. Going to court is like going to war, and irrespective of the party that wins, the ultimate result will be that the two parties will more likely be enemies than friends (Deutsch, Coleman, & Marcus, 2011). The value in terms of trade that the two firms stand to gain by staying as business partners is greater than what each individual firm may win in case they go to court. The mediator will bring the warring parties together and hear their grievances. Then the mediator will be expected to point out facts to the parties in the most unbiased way, explaining the consequences of going to court and how both will be hurt in a litigation process. The warring parties will then be given opportunity to find a common solution. The mediator can propose a solution which will involve both parties making compromises.

Differences in costs and benefits of going through traditional litigation compared to pursuing mediation

Mediation is a less costly conflict resolution method because the parties do not have to spend money in hiring lawyers. When going to court, there is an initial payment that the plaintiff will have to make. These costs are eliminated when the parties decide to use a mediator. Court cases can be extremely time-consuming as both parties cannot determine when it shall be resolved. This is not the case when the parties decide to use a mediator. Through mediation, they get to sit together with a neutral party in a forum meant to restore trust. It means that by the end of the process, all suspicions will be eliminated and the parties will have better working relationship. This alternative dispute resolution method avoids the combative nature of court processes that will be harmful to the two parties.

References

Barsky, A. (2014). Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions. New York: Cengage Learning.

Blanchfield, K., & Ladd, P. (2008). Conflict Resolution for Law Enforcement: Street-smart Negotiating. Flushing: Looseleaf Law Publications.

Corvette, B. (2009). Conflict Management: A Practical Guide to Developing Negotiation Strategies. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Deutsch, M., Coleman, P., & Marcus, E. (2011). The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Ramsbotham, O., Woodhouse, T., & Miall, H. (2011). Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention, Management and Transformation of Deadly Conflicts. Cambridge: Polity.