What You Need to Know About Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a viable alternative to litigation. Generally speaking, it involves disputing parties agreeing to a decision by an impartial and independent third party.

ADR clauses are fairly standard in employment contracts since it usually saves businesses bad publicity and significant money. ADR is likewise commonly used to settle business disputes, construction disputes, and securities regulation.

The main goal of ADR is to encourage disputing parties to resolve their conflicts without going to court. It is also less costly, less time-consuming, and less formal than litigation.

Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation and arbitration are the most common ADR types, although collaborative law and negotiation are likewise widespread, says Littleton Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc., a firm that offers judicial arbitration and mediation services.

While there are distinct differences between the following types of ADR, all of them share the common objective of avoiding litigation:


An arbitrator, which is a neutral third party, conducts the arbitration process. The arbitrator listens to the arguments and reviews evidence provided by both parties to come to a decision regarding the dispute. It doesn’t follow the official court rules regarding evidence and is less formal than court trials.


A mediator runs mediation sessions in an attempt to help disputing parties reach a fair and mutual settlement.
Do note though that the mediator can’t make decisions and can only guide the parties in trying to settle their dispute without court intervention. Mediation is a viable option for family disputes and divorcing couples.

Neutral Evaluation

During a neutral evaluation session, the disputing parties would present their arguments to a neutral third party known as an evaluator. The evaluator would then provide their opinion on the weaknesses and strength of each party’s argument, evidence, and overall case.

If the Parties Can’t Come to an Agreement

If after trying ADR the disputing parties still can’t quite reach a fair agreement, then they would have to go to court to resolve their issues. This is because arbitration settlements and agreements could only be enforced if the disputing parties reached an agreement.

With that said, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney to find out the best option for you and help you consider alternative contingencies that might not be aware of otherwise.

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Sarah is a highly experienced legal advisor and freelance writer. She specializes in assisting tech companies with the complexities of the law and providing useful information to the public through her writing.