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Overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution
This chapter explores the resolution of disputes between individuals. More specifically, it explores the methods that individuals use to resolve disputes without resorting to civil litigation. Alternative dispute resolution includes any method or procedure for achieving this purpose; however, there are two commonly recognized processes – arbitration and mediation. Employing these resolution methods may be mandatory or voluntary. Further, these methods may not be exclusive. That is, the parties may employ mediation, arbitration, and litigation, all within the realm of a single dispute. This chapter will explore the procedures and general legal principles applicable to these processes.
Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR, as the name implies, is an alternative to resorting to litigation to resolve a legal dispute between parties. The most common forms of ADR are:
Since ADR is an alternative to litigation, disputing parties do not have to begin a lawsuit prior to using any form of ADR. Also, filling a lawsuit does not preclude the use of ADR in conjunction with the litigation. Some courts, such a family court, often encourage or require parties to undertake some form of ADR prior to moving forward with litigation.