We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Dispute Resolution?

By K. Wascher
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Dispute resolution, in its most basic form, is the process of finding a solution to a point of contention between two or more parties or individuals. In the legal sense, dispute resolution includes specific methods of resolving disputes, such as through lawsuits, through arbitration and through mediation. These three methods are commonly used in courts throughout the world to establish a conclusion to a wide variety of disputes and disagreements.

A lawsuit is the most formal legal method of resolving a dispute. In order to bring a lawsuit against another party, an individual must file a complaint that contains an actionable claim. Actionable claims are disputes that the body of laws in a jurisdiction can resolve. For instance, a dispute regarding the terms of a contract is an actionable dispute because laws, statutes, regulations and codes exist to resolve these types of issues.

Filing a lawsuit against someone because they happen to like one color over another, for example, is not an actionable claim, because no legal remedies exists on that issue. Lawsuits are decided either by a judge or by a jury. During a lawsuit, both sides to the suit present evidence and witnesses to persuade the judge or jury to rule in their favor. After a final ruling is made on the issue, the dispute is resolved, unless one of the parties chooses to appeal the ruling to a higher court.

Arbitration is an alternative form of dispute resolution that is commonly used by businesses and other individuals before filing a lawsuit. It works in a manner similar to that of a formal trial, but the parties to the dispute present their case to a panel of arbitrators instead of to a judge or a jury. Most arbitrators are attorneys who practice in that jurisdiction.

During an arbitration, the arbitrators will listen to the parties' dispute, view their evidence and rule on the issue. Arbitration is considered to be "non-binding" in some jurisdictions, which means that the losing party is not obligated to comply with the ruling of the arbitrators. In such as case, the winning party will need to file a formal lawsuit and receive a subsequent judgment in that party's favor. Despite its informalities, arbitration is one of the most favored forms of dispute resolution because it saves each party the time and money that is required for litigation in a lawsuit.

Mediation is the most casual legal form of dispute resolution. A mediator is an individual who works with both parties to a dispute in the hopes of bringing the parties together to reach an agreement. The mediator generally makes suggestions and recommendations to the disputing parties, but those suggestions and recommendations are not binding upon the parties.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon296289 — On Oct 10, 2012

I have strong documented evidence which clearly shows that social services, solicitors, police, crown prosecution services and the court service have all breached their codes of conduct.

Because I made a complaint to the law society about the solicitor's behavior (which was not upheld in "light of the evidence"), I cannot get legal representation, as all have closed ranks. Can anyone please advise me if I could take this case to a tribunal and represent myself?

In reality, the whole case consists of conspiracy, collusion, misconduct in a public office, or whatever the term they wish to use. I would be most grateful for any advice.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.