“ADR” is an abbreviation for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Courts resolve disputes in which lawsuits have been filed. This process is called “litigation”. Litigation can be very expensive and take a long time to complete. To better serve the public, many courts have introduced alternatives to litigation. Two alternatives to litigation are settlement conferences and mediation; there are also other forms and processes, such as arbitration, for resolving disputes and managing conflict between people.
ADR involves people more directly in the resolution of their legal disputes than litigation. When people have more of a say in what happens to them, they are usually more satisfied with the process and more likely to abide by the terms of the agreement they made. Studies show that ADR significantly decreases the time it takes to resolve cases and costs to both litigants and courts, and increases litigant satisfaction.
The First Judicial District Court offers settlement conferences as an alternative to litigation. A settlement conference occurs when a case is already in litigation. Faster settlement of the case without going to trial is the primary goal. Usually, but not always, both parties are represented by attorneys. You do not have to be represented by an attorney to be able to use the ADR process.
Please refer to the If You Don’t Have a Lawyer button for further information.