Alternative dispute resolutions are designed to settle disputes outside the courtroom with the help of an impartial third party. The process is generally accessible once efforts between the client and insurer to resolve differences on their own have reached an impasse.

ADRs are typically less formal and cheaper than a trial. They are widely used for civil (non-criminal) matters to expedite settlements, cut expenses and encourage more agreeable agreements. ADRs are also used to reduce the court system’s heavy caseload.

The most common forms of ADR are mediation, arbitration and negotiation. However, it is important to note that there are many other processes and techniques of conflict resolution without litigation that could be considered ADRs including private judging, factfinding, summary jury trials, mediation-arbitration hybrids, tripartite arbitration, etc.

When choosing an ADR, it is important to find a neutral that is experienced in the specific area of the law at issue. In addition to the training required, a neutral should be unbiased and willing to listen to all sides of the dispute. A neutral should also be able to help parties identify their interests and goals so that they can focus on reaching a mutually acceptable solution. The majority of civil lawsuits are settled through ADR processes such as mediation, arbitration and settlement conferences. If you are unable to find a neutral for your dispute, the Court may appoint one for you. The parties in the dispute are responsible for paying for the neutral.

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