What is an ADR? The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution. | Larry Larry Wall Trial Law

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    What is an ADR? The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    The acronym “ADR” stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is a method to address legal conflicts without having to go to court and present your case to a judge or jury.

    ADR can come in many different forms. No matter which kind of ADR you use, each type has many benefits when it comes to addressing legal disputes.

    Examples of ADR

    Although you can negotiate a settlement back and forth with someone else, that technically is not a form of ADR. Alternative dispute resolution is slightly more formal than that type of informal negotiation, but the result can be the same. Examples of the most common types of ADR include the following.


    Mediation involves a third party, an impartial person who helps the parties reach a resolution. The mediator does not decide the dispute, but he or she acts as a “go-between” to communicate between the parties and work out terms of a resolution.


    Arbitration also involves a neutral third party, but the third party actually decides the case for the parties. It functions as a formal court proceeding, but the rules are much laxer. You can also use either “binding” or “non-binding” arbitration. Non-binding arbitration means that the parties can still request a trial after the arbitration is over.

    Settlement Conference

    A settlement conference is also another commonly used method of alternative dispute resolution. The parties all meet with a judge or a neutral person to discuss the case in the hopes of developing a solution to a legal issue that everyone can live with.

    The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

    ADR has a lot of benefits and can work great for some legal disputes. Some of the most important benefits are focused on time and cost.

    Getting ready for trial can take years in some situations. It can also cost a lot of money to retain experts, pay for attorneys, and simply cover all of the costs related to getting a case ready to present to a jury or judge. ADR is faster and much more cost-effective in most cases.

    Depending on the method you use, ADR can also help you resolve the case faster for another reason, too—no one can appeal from most ADR methods.

    Other benefits include:

    • Increased control over the process and the outcome
    • Less conflict-driven, with a goal of working together
    • Preserve relationships with the other person or business
    • Increased confidentiality or privacy

    There are a lot of reasons to think about ADR as you consider a legal case. Learn more about how ADR can help resolve your legal dispute by clicking here.