Image for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an increasingly popular means of resolving disputes without litigation. The process employs practices and techniques outside of the judicial system.

Arbitration is a formal process in which disputing parties refer their dispute to an impartial third person or panel of their choosing who hears arguments, reviews evidence and renders a binding or non-binding decision
as the parties agree.

Case evaluation is a process in which the parties or their attorneys present a summary of their cases to a neutral who renders a non-binding opinion of the settlement value or the likely outcome if the case is adjudicated.

Collaborative practice is a litigation-free way of settling disputes in which two parties, with their own attorneys,
agree in writing to settle their dispute without using court action. Parties voluntarily exchange information, identify interests, and develop options for solutions that satisfies each party's highest priorities.

Conciliation is a process in which a neutral assists parties to settle a case by clarifying the issues and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each side of the case. If the case does not settle, the conciliator may explore the steps to prepare the case for trial.

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process in which a neutral is invited or accepted by the disputing parties to assist them in identifying and discussing issues of mutual concern, exploring various solutions, and developing a settlement mutually acceptable to the disputing parties.

All forms of ADR may or may not involve a licensed attorney; however, many attorneys include ADR as part of their services. ADR processes can be used in most areas of law, including, but not not limited to, business, family,
labor & employment, probate, tort, commercial transactions, construction, elder law, environmental and municipal law.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of ADR.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association