As an alternative to litigation, some clients opt for Alternative Dispute Resolution in the form of mediation and/or arbitration.
Mediation is conducted via a privately retained third party (mediator) whose role is to assist the parties to negotiate a resolution. If negotiation is not successful and the parties agree, the same mediator (or a new third party) can be hired to act as arbitrator. Essentially, the arbitrator is a private judge who has the authority to determine issues in dispute after a hearing.
The advantage to mediation/arbitration is it is usually much quicker than proceeding through the courts. It is also private, whereas the Court is a public forum. The disadvantage of arbitration is the additional cost of the mediator/arbitrator. However, the efficiencies associated with mediation/arbitration may make the process, overall, less expensive than litigation.