Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Series: The Basics of Alternative Dispute Resolution

The phrase “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) refers to the different methods parties in conflict use to resolve disputes rather than filing a traditional lawsuit in court. The process can be as simple as meeting to discuss a possible settlement or as formal as an arbitration that can look a lot like a trial. ADR is growing industry, because many “consumers” are fed up with the high costs of lawyers and litigation and the uncertainty surrounding a drawn out court battle. ADR generally decreases costs and expedites the process of reaching an agreement between parties in dispute. It’s popularity and benefits are so valued that many courts now require parties to a suit to go through mandatory arbitration or mediation before being allowed to go to trial. Other benefits of ADR include confidentiality of the outcome and the opportunity for the parties to have a greater control over the process.

alternative dispute resolution

Two commonly used ADR methods are mediation and arbitration. The biggest difference between the two techniques is the decision maker. Mediation is usually a confidential, non-binding process, where a third-party neutral (the mediator) guides the parties through the negotiation process and the parties decide on a mutually beneficial agreement. In arbitration, the third-party neutral (arbitrator) hears both sides of the case and makes the decision on a specific decision or award.

This iVLG blog mini series on ADR will dive into the details of the most well-known ADR methods:

  1. Mediation
  2. Arbitration
  3. 3 Steps to a Successful Mediation
  4. Early Neutral Evaluation

If you have any questions about ADR or the different methods of ADR, please comment below or contact us.

Photo: MTA | Flickr


Charlene Angeles

Charlene makes time to enjoy the outdoors and has explored Washington's Big Four Ice Caves.

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