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Brisbanelawyer3   , 35

from Brisbane


Alternative Dispute Resolution


Whilst in general we are keen to encourage clients to consider various means of alternative dispute resolution rather than proceeding to Court, we don’t think that a rather novel approach adopted by a lawyer in Kazakhstan is likely to catch on in Australia.

‘The Mirror’ news paper in the UK reports that a Brisbane Family Lawyers Evgeniy Tankov, was appearing in Court and was apparently unhappy with the way the Case was proceeding. The Mirror Reports that CCTV footage apparently shows Mr Tankov approaching the Judge and saying “lets not hang about arguing the law here, let’s decide this with fly swatters”. Apparently Mr Tankov then produced a fly swatter and hit the judge with it at least three times.

This apparently then resulted in a further melee with Mr Tankov, the other lawyer and indeed the Judge. Not surprisingly, it seems that Mr Tankov’s legal career may be over.


To save both time and money, a popular choice is now emerging. It is called alternative dispute resolutions. This option is a result of increasing legal bills and sometimes months and months of making rounds to the courts without a resolution.

In some counties now, it is recommended that the parties involved try to resolve their issues through mediation and arbitration before even pondering on litigation.

There are many advantage that alternative dispute resolutions can provide and some of them are listed below:

Less Cost

Anyone who has been through the court systems can tell you that it is an expensive process. It is generally less expensive than a formal litigation process.

Less Stress

Going through the court system can cause some people severe stress. In a dispute resolution environment, the parties are treated in a far more relaxed manner. It is thought that when one discusses in a relaxed manner, there is clarity of thought and the process can move along quickly and efficiently.


All matters between the parties are kept in strict confidence. 

There are times when partied end up in court but feel they are not being heard enough or put to the table what they feel. In a dispute resolution process, there is more control over the process and parties will have equal opportunities to speak up and state their case.


In some instances, the parties may agree to share information or documentation which may be beneficial to each other. This is a great way to clear some minor misunderstanding which has got out of proportion.


Both parties have the right to decide who the mediator or arbitrator will be.

Both parties can weigh the pros and cons of going through formal litigation or going through an alternative dispute resolution first.

There are several types of alternative dispute resolution processes. The two most popular processes are arbitration and mediation. Let's have a look at exactly what each process involves. 

Arbitration involves a more court like system approach. In arbitration, a qualified arbitrator will hear both sides of the parties before coming out with a resolution/verdict.

Arbitration is a choice made by both parties who have agreed to go through the alternative dispute resolution process instead of choosing the path of litigation as a mean of resolving the conflicts.

The parties also have to agree who the arbitrator is going to be. This is different from a court system where a judge is assigned to the case. The arbitrator is generally an attorney, a retired judge or an expert in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Some parties misunderstand that there will be a win-win situation. This may not be the case as in litigation; there will be one winner and one loser.

Arbitration is most commonly used to resolve conflicts in: 
- Banking disputes 
- Intellectual property disputes 
- Medical malpractice 
- Employment harassment 
- Discrimination cases 
- Construction contracts


Mediation varies greatly from arbitration. Here, both parties will be assisted by a certified mediator whose job/goal is to bring the parties together and find a solution where both parties can agree on an outcome. 
The key to this alternative dispute resolution process to work effectively is to ensure that the parties in dispute should both agree to the resolutions proposed by the mediator. The mediator cannot force the resolution to the parties but offer a suggestion only.

Mediation has become a popular form of alternative dispute resolution in areas like: 
- Child custody 
- Parenting time 
- Child support 
- Family law cases

These days mediation is also much sought after in employment disputes and business related issues.