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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) allows people to resolve disputes outside of court in a cooperative manner. ADR can be faster, cheaper and less stressful than going to court. Most importantly, the use of ADR can provide greater satisfaction with the way disputes are resolved. Disputes Various types of ADR processes are available depending on the nature of the dispute. Many types of conflict often lend themselves to an alternative and informal method of dispute resolution. Some examples of disputes often settled by ADR include but are not limited to:

Business disputes- contracts, partnerships Property / Land use disputes- property transfers, boundaries, easements Family disputes- divorce, property, custody, visitation, support issues Consumer / Collection disputes- repairs, services, warranties, debts Employment disputes- employment contracts, terminations Landlord/tenant disputes- evictions, rent, repairs, security deposits Neighborhood disputes / Relational disputes or other civil or personal conflicts Personal Injury / Insurance disputes- accidents, coverage, liability

Mediation In mediation, the mediator (a neutral) assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of their dispute. Unlike lawsuits or some other types of ADR, the mediator does not decide how the dispute is to be resolved. The parties do. It is a cooperative process in which the parties work together toward a resolution that tries to meet everyone’s interests, instead of working against each other. Mediation often leads to better communication between the parties and lasting resolutions.

It is particularly effective when parties have a continuing relationship, such as neighbors or businesses. It also is very effective where personal feelings are getting in the way of a resolution. Mediation normally gives the parties a chance to express their concerns in a voluntary, confidential process while working towards a resolution. The mediation process is commonly used for most civil case types and can provide the greatest level of flexibility for parties. Arbitration

In arbitration, the arbitrator (a neutral) reviews evidence, hears arguments, and makes a decision (award) to resolve the dispute. This is very different from mediation whereby the mediator helps the parties reach their own resolution. Arbitration normally is more informal, quicker, and less expensive than a lawsuit. In a matter of hours, an arbitrator often can hear a case that otherwise may take a week in court to try. This is because the evidence can be submitted by documents rather than by testimony.

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