The Air Force offers a variety of alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) to settle legal disputes outside of court. These voluntary processes include negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration. These techniques often result in cordial, efficient and fair resolution of disputed issues. They are also less formal and usually quicker than a full trial, allowing both parties to maintain working relationships after the conflict is settled.
Litigation is a time-consuming and costly path to take. Depending on the case, litigation may require months or years of discovery and testimony before it is resolved. Even if your case is successful, you will likely have to pay related fees like attorney’s expenses and the costs of any damages awarded.
If you’re considering litigation, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced lawyer first. They can help you decide whether litigation is wise given your preferred timeline, financial constraints and the evidence collected so far. If not, they can recommend an ADR process that will save you time, money and stress.
There are many types of ADR, but the most common are negotiation, mediation and arbitration. The former involves a neutral third party known as the mediator helping both disputing parties come to an agreement. The latter is a more formal process where both parties present their arguments to an arbitrator, who then makes all final decisions. Both processes can help parties work out their differences, but they don’t always succeed, especially when legal specifics matter greatly.