Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the procedure for settling disputes by means other than litigation -- such as arbitration, mediation or mini-trials.
- ADR procedures are usually less costly and more expeditious. They are increasingly being utilized in disputes that would otherwise result in litigation -- including labor disputes, divorce actions, and personal injury claims.
- All ADR processes motivate the parties and their lawyers to prepare for resolution of the conflict. As with traditional litigation, the parties have a hearing, during which they have the opportunity to present their perspectives and ideas of a fair resolution.
- Many people prefer ADR because they view it as a more creative process focused on problem solving, unlike litigation, which can foster an adversarial relationship.
- Although some ADR methods are well- established and frequently used (such as arbitration and mediation), ADR has no fixed definition. There are no limits to the methods that may be used to resolve a conflict. Clients, lawyers and judges are continuously adapting ADR methods or devising new ones to meet the unique needs of particular legal disputes.
RELATED PRACTICE AREAS
For more definitions, visit the FindLaw Legal Dictionary.
PRACTICE AREA NOTES
- ADR arose from the frustration of clients, lawyers and judges with the high cost, low speed and adversarial nature of litigation.
- ADR is becoming increasingly popular in resolving conflicts involving issues that would otherwise probably end up in court.
- Attorneys practicing ADR methods will be found most frequently in the following areas of law: commercial, construction, elections, employment, federal practice, insurance, international, labor and securities.