Litigants often ask why it takes so long for a case to wind its way through a trial court.
One big reason for the courts’ snail’s pace is the sheer volume of pending cases.
According to the Wisconsin court system, 2014 ended with 121,628 pending cases statewide. And less than 250 civil/criminal judges.
With the clogged court system, more parties are resolving disputes through alternative dispute resolution— mediation and arbitration. Sometimes such procedure is contractually required; other times parties choose such path.
Mediation is a non-binding attempt to settle a dispute through a neutral third-party, often a judge. Arbitration is a binding process which streamlines what would otherwise be a court procedure, through neutral arbitrators.
Each process has its plusses and minuses as compared to each other and the courts. Because foregoing the courts is a significant and impactful decision, it should be made after a full discussion of all ramifications with your FOS attorney.
If the nature of a dispute or the personalities of its parties do not lend themselves to mediation or arbitration, “patience” is the watchword. Many disputes, however, can be efficiently resolved outside the courts.
Your FOS attorney can help you determine whether the court, or an alternate forum, is the best place to resolve your dispute.