What Is ADR?

During your claim proceedings, you may hear the term “ADR,” or alternative dispute resolution. ADR is a common dispute resolution method that occurs outside of the courtroom. With successful ADR, a formal trial will not be necessary to resolve the case. ADR is often the most desirable way to resolve civil claims, as they save the filing party from the costs and timely procedures of the courtroom. With the right legal representative, ADR can be an excellent and rewarding way to resolve a dispute.

What to Expect During ADR

Alternative dispute resolution procedures are typically less costly and time consuming than litigation in resolving divorce actions, labor disputes, and personal injury claims. Your claim will almost always enter into some form of ADR before becoming a full-blown trial. You may enter into settlement negotiations with an insurance company, or mediation with a neutral third-party judge to settle your claim. If your attorney suggests ADR for your claim, here’s what to expect:

  1. Choose your type of ADR. Mediation is appropriate for parties who wish to keep their relationships during a dispute, such as family members or business partners. Arbitration is best for parties who want someone else to decide the outcome of the case but without the formality of a trial. A settlement conference is most common in personal injury cases and involves a settlement officer to discuss possible terms to resolve the dispute.
  2. Attend your ADR conference. You, the other party, a judge, and your attorney will attend the ADR meeting, where both parties will have the chance to state their cases. Depending on the type of ADR, the parties will then either try to come to an agreement with one another or the judge will come up with a solution.
  3. Resolution or trial. In many cases, ADR is enough for both parties to resolve their dispute or a personal injury claim. You may need to go to trial to resolve your case if ADR does not end in a satisfactory settlement or judgment award. If this is the case, retain a trial attorney for representation if you do not already have one.

Alternative dispute resolution is less formal, costly, and time-consuming than a courtroom trial. However, it is still an official legal process that has certain procedures and rules in place. If you’re headed for ADR during your claim or business dispute, speak with an attorney about what to expect from your specific case.

Is ADR Right for You?

Alternative dispute resolution is often the best way to resolve a dispute. It saves both parties time, money, and energy. It also helps take caseloads off of the local civil courts, making the entire system more efficient. Deciding if ADR is right for your claim, and what type of ADR is most appropriate, may take help from an attorney. While you can self-represent during ADR and most civil court cases, retaining a lawyer can greatly improve your chances of a satisfactory settlement and successful case resolution. For more information about alternative dispute resolution for your claim, speak to our attorney team today.