Alternative Dispute Resolution Information

Processes


Mediation
Mediation is an informal meeting conducted by a neutral third person called a mediator. The mediator helps the parties reach a mutually agreeable solution to the issues of the dispute. Mediation establishes a combat-free setting where, with the aid of a skilled neutral mediator, you explore options and make your own decision about your case. Mediation reduces the anger, pain and confusion which accompanies conflicts. Mediation facilitates agreements between disputing people. Mediation is an ALTERNATIVE to the traumatic court battles, high legal fees, and extreme emotional distress which can accompany the traditional legal problems. Now you have a CHOICE.

Mediation is the most often used ADR procedure. The informality of mediation allows the parties to address grievances, and issues that may be appropriate or time consuming in a courtroom. Parties can prepare steps to deal with future conflicts about the same or similar issues.

Arbitration
Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. Arbitration is a process in which every person in the lawsuit and their attorney's present their case before an impartial person, who renders a specific award. If the parties do not agree in advance that the award is binding, the award is not binding but serves as a basis for the parties' further settlement negotiations.

Moderated Settlement Conference
Moderated Settlement Conference is a non-binding case evaluation by a neutral panel of attorneys. Each parties'attorney will make a summary presentation and answer questions from the panel. The panel then gives an evaluation on the strengths and weaknesses of each parties' case. The parties do not directly participate in the presentation. They get to hear the arguments and the evaluation. Sometimes the evaluation leads to other ADR procedures or negotiations.

Mini-Trial
Mini-Trial. Corporations or government agencies normally use the mini-trial to test their case presentations and rebuttals. Attorneys and representatives of the business or government entity (with authority to negotiate and resolve the dispute) attend. The third party neutral is usually an expert in the specific legal issues or subject matter of the dispute. The mini-trial follows a format similar to an arbitration, or moderated settlement conference. The third party may act as an advisor to the parties as they negotiate. Any recommendationor advisory opinion provided by the third p arty is non-binding on the parties.

Summary Jury Trial
Summary Jury Trial is a non-binding case evaluation by an impartial jury of the party's peers. The court, or another judge conducts the proceedings using limited procedures in selecting a jury and the presentation of evidence. This is a non-binding case evaluation by the party's peers.