Alternative dispute resolutions offer a path to resolving disputes outside of court and provide an opportunity for parties to find viable solutions to their legal problems that are admissible in court. ADR refers to a wide variety of processes and techniques that resolve conflict without litigation, including early neutral evaluation, mediation (negotiation mediated by a neutral third party), conciliation, arbitration, and settlement conferences.
All of these ADR procedures are generally less costly and more efficient than litigating a case through the public courts. They also allow for more creative and collaborative solutions to the legal issues at hand. ADR processes are voluntary and can be conducted by private individuals who are neutrals, retired or former judges, attorneys, or professionals hired by the disputing parties.
ADR can be used in a wide variety of cases, including whistleblower retaliation complaints and disputes over contracts. However, ADR is not advised in cases that may raise issues of public concern or where the resulting solution might be perceived as biased. For example, ADR is not recommended in cases involving matters of constitutional questions or environmental laws that would require more comprehensive consideration and scrutiny of society.
In some ADR cases, the neutral evaluator or arbitrator might be an expert on the topic of the dispute and will make a non-binding, advisory opinion about the arguments presented by both sides. In other ADR cases, such as summary jury trials, the neutral evaluator might render a decision that is binding on both parties. alternative dispute resolutions