The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process consistently offers disputing parties an impartial and more cost-effective way to resolve legal matters outside of the courtroom. As with any process, over time, ADR has evolved to integrate various practices into alternative or hybrid options that can result in resolution. Counsel seeking optimal outcomes for their clients must understand these various options at the onset of a legal matter. This article will outline a number of those available ADR hybrids, including advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to leverage those options to get the result you seek.
The Evolution (and Realities) of ADR
Any discussion of ADR warrants reflection and consideration of the serious impact that the litigation process places upon the parties, hotly contested or otherwise. Therefore, efforts to seek collaboration between contentious litigants should be of paramount significance to their chosen counsel. Indeed, local and national policies favor the private resolution of disputes, primarily civil in nature (see The Federal Arbitration Act; The Uniform Arbitration Act; The Civil Justice Reform Act; The Alternative Dispute Resolution Act; etc.), and both state and federal judicial efforts encourage—even mandate—ADR efforts. Despite these referenced policies or mandates, ADR processes have consistently been ignored or underutilized.
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