Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution - Part 1 of 5 - What is ADR?

The term “ADR” stands for “alternative dispute resolution.”  The term ADR, when used in reference to a pending civil lawsuit, refers to the resolution of the lawsuit by means other than having a judge or jury decide the ultimate issues.  ADR can be as informal as negotiations between the parties or their attorneys, or it can be as formal as binding arbitration.  One of the many advantages of ADR is that it can be tailored to suit the needs of the parties. 

Participation in ADR can be voluntary or compulsory.  Many parties voluntarily participate in ADR because they prefer to minimize the attorneys’ fees and other costs they will pay to see a lawsuit through trial or motion practice, or they do not wish to expend their time and energy on a lawsuit.  ADR can be compulsory if a contract involved in the lawsuit provides that the parties must engage in some form of ADR.  Also, some courts in Delaware and other states require parties to engage in some form of ADR. 

Please keep checking our blog for entries explaining why you should consider engaging in ADR if you are involved in a lawsuit, describing different types of ADR in more detail, and exploring various other issues relating to ADR.