Group Theory

Conflict Resolution Techniques

                   Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an efficient and cost-effective way of resolving a conflict. It offers several different methods of resolving legal disputes without going to court. Some of the benefits it holds over litigation include flexibility, confidentiality, mutuality, and effectiveness due to how the parties involved can save money and time. By using ADR, multiple jurisdictional resolutions can also occur, which is when the afflicted parties can simultaneously resolve disputes in other jurisdictions. To encourage ADR usage, Congress passed a series of laws in federal courts that promote it. ADR is widely and often used in many different scenarios.

ADR can be a great help to some different kinds of disputes such as in business, property, family problems such as divorce, consumer, and collection, employment, landlord and tenant conflicts, as well as personal injury disputes. The most common forms of ADR are mediation, negotiation, arbitration and case evaluation. In most of these processes, an impartial and trained individual helps all of the parties involved reach a resolution in their dispute together. In mediation, the mediator helps all of the individuals reach a mutually acceptable decision. This process is often used in divorce court where personal feelings can be a heavy burden when resolving a conflict. By using an independent party to conduct the conflict resolution, the problem can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Negotiation is another method of conflict resolution. In a negotiation, two parties try and reach an agreement that satisfies everyone involved without the use of a third party. In a typical negotiation, each party will prepare a list of what they want and then decide upon a timeframe to acquire the assets. Usually, each party will have an alternative or other options for the settlement. Once this occurs, a written statement will be made of the agreement. The most notable workplace conflict I have been a part of was while I was in the Air Force. I was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia and was part of a dispute with local authorities when I was transporting 20 MK84 bombs using a public road. The local police officers had problems with how we were carrying them and said that there was too much risk for an accident.

For a solution to be made that satisfied the local authorities as well as allowing me to finish my work I contacted my supervisor and let him mediate the conflict. In this situation, negotiation wouldn’t have been much of a help as legal action could have been taken on what I was doing therefore not giving me negotiating power. I also didn’t hold a high enough rank in the Air Force to be able to make any decisions on my own. Proper use of ADR turned this possible volatile situation into just another day at work. My supervisor and the police officers both agreed to allow me to drive with the munitions however I had to have two escort vehicles accompany me. One of the escort vehicles had to be right behind me at all times as well as in front leading the way. Although this meant that more manpower had to be used and increased the time it took to finish the job, I was able to do so without risking getting into trouble or causing unnecessary risk to other drivers on the road.


Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, Alternative Dispute Resolution for Patent Cases: The Eastern District of Texas, The Northern District of California, and The International Trade Commission Lionel Lavenue, Carlos Rosario, Cecilia Sanabria, Kristi McIntyre, Brandon Bludau, and Kumiko Kitaoka, July 1, 2015


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