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What is alternative dispute resolution?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Mediation & Arbitration

When Kentucky residents think about legal disputes, they probably think of courtroom litigation. Yes, civil litigation is common enough when it comes to attempting to resolve legal issues, but many parties select another route: alternative dispute resolution.

‘ADR’ for short

Alternative dispute resolution, commonly referred to as “ADR,” is an umbrella term that covers a few different ways that parties who are involved in a legal dispute might consider to resolve their issues without going to court.

Technically, any method short of traditional litigation could be seen as ADR, including simple negotiation between the parties. However, the term commonly refers to methods such as arbitration and mediation.

Of these two, arbitration is the method that is most similar to courtroom litigation because it relies on a neutral third party to decide how to resolve the dispute. Arbitration can be somewhat formal, although the process is unlikely to occur in an actual courtroom.

Mediation is different, mostly in that this method can be as informal as the parties like. In a typical mediation session, the parties may be in separate conference rooms at the same location, with a neutral, third-party mediator going back and forth between the parties to discuss legal issues and positions, possible compromises and attempts to reach an agreement to resolve the dispute.

If you are facing a legal dispute, some form of ADR may be right for you. However, as with all legal issues, the facts and law that are applicable to your case need to be carefully considered when attempting to decide the best path forward. Your goals, time and financial situation are also crucial factors in determining whether or not ADR might work for you.