Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
All pending cases must undergo some form of ADR. Here is an overview of the most common types.
There are several types of alternatives to the traditional litigation process, these alternatives are known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The most common forms of ADR include settlement agreements, mediation and arbitration.
Settlement agreements are agreements reached between the parties to settle their claims outside of the court system. One benefit to settlement agreements is that the parties can determine their own terms for resolving the matter. Most settlement agreements may be enforced by the courts. Sometimes, the parties will make the terms of settlement confidential.
Mediation is where the parties present their positions before a third-party with the objective of reaching a resolution. The third-party is a trained individual, called a mediator, who will discuss the dispute with each party (usually) jointly and separately. The mediator tries to get the parties to reach a settlement agreement. If the parties settle, the dispute is resolved.
Arbitration is a process where the parties present their cases to a third party (an arbitrator) who renders a decision. In a court ordered arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is sealed and cannot be accessed by the court. However, the party who loses at arbitrator can request a trial. If the party who lost at arbitration also loses at trial, they may be liable to the winning party for attorney’s fees incurred since the arbitration.