In today’s legal environment, arbitration and mediation often supplement traditional litigation in state and federal courts as preferred mechanisms for the resolution of disputes confronting our business clients. While arbitration and mediation are sometimes encompassed within the concept of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), there are many instances where contractual or other legal requirements make these processes the only means by which claims can be formally asserted and resolved. In other instances, however, clients have the option of choosing how to most effectively press and economically resolve disputes that have arisen.
Managing and resolving disputes outside of, or as a supplement to, traditional court litigation is an important part of our practice at Sidley – both domestically and internationally. While this practice builds upon our traditional litigation practice, it also requires special advocacy, case management and strategic skills. Sidley lawyers have experience in all aspects of dispute resolution. We have successfully handled thousands of individual cases, participate in key organizations which structure and administer the dispute resolution processes, serve as neutrals and party-appointed arbitrators and create dispute resolution programs for the more efficient management of routine conflicts that are inevitable in any large organization.
Arbitration and mediation typically bring disputes to resolution without appeals or other prolonged judicial proceedings. There are occasions, however, where judicial challenges are imposed to address issues relating to the scope and enforceability of the dispute resolution process. In addition, there are other cases where collateral or appellate litigation inevitably occurs, whether justified or not. We are also well equipped to handle these related judicial proceedings, and have been lead counsel in some of the most well-known Supreme Court and appellate cases in this area.
Regardless of how or where disputes initially arise, our commitment is to resolve them efficiently and economically, in partnership with our clients. Sidley was one of the first law firms to subscribe to the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution’s Policy Statement on Alternatives to Litigation. The statement acknowledges that “for many disputes there may be more effective methods of resolution than traditional litigation” and that the use of ADR procedures “can significantly reduce the costs and burdens of litigation and result in solutions not available in court.” Sidley lawyers recognize that effective advocacy comes in many forms, and that clients are best served when they can select the most appropriate means of resolving their dispute from an array of available options.