What is an Alternative Dispute Resolution?

An Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may be used as a substitute for costly courtroom litigation when attempting to resolve a legal dispute between two parties. One of the three types of ADRs - facilitation, mediation, or arbitration - may be used depending on the situation.

During dispute resolution, parties may be able to participate more fully than they would through conventional court methods, helping them resolve the dispute quickly and cost-effectively.

What is facilitation?

Facilitation is a form of ADR in which issues are handled under the guidance of a neutral facilitator who will help the parties collaborate until they resolve their problem. Often less structured and formal than the other ADR types, facilitation may be the first step in the resolution process.

What is mediation?

Mediation, a common form of ADR, is a process that occurs between two parties without any mandate by the court. In mediation, two parties are brought together to resolve the dispute with the help of a neutral third-party mediator.

Mediation is not as formal as going to court, but it is more structured than facilitation. With mediation, key components include the mediator’s and disputants’ opening statements, joint discussions, and, if successful, negotiation.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is another type of ADR in which both parties present their case to a neutral third-party arbitrator (which could be one or more individuals). In arbitration, both parties present their arguments and provide evidence. There may even be a limited amount of discovery. However, this type of ADR differs from litigation in that the parties may not need to follow the rules of evidence that are applicable in court. An arbitrator will listen to both sides before deciding.

Help is available

Knowing which intermediary to secure is essential when resolving your dispute. For more information on ADRs or to speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Litigation