ADR stands for alternative dispute resolution, which provides an alternative method of settling legal disputes without resorting to the courts.
This is usually a confidential mechanism that allows the parties to avoid extended trials. If the parties have an agreement by which the parties submit their dispute to ADR, this method of dispute settlement can lead to a binding resolution.
What are the main types of ADR?
Negotiation is the first option for the parties wishing to resolve a dispute. This is the most flexible ADR process, which involves the parties attempting to reach the agreement directly or through specialists (such as solicitors) that are instructed to negotiate on behalf of the parties.
Round Table Meetings
This is similar to negotiations but that usually involves the parties and their lawyers working together in order to resolves the issues between them.
Mediation is probably the most used form of ADR. This process involves an independent third party (the mediator) appointed by the parties. The mediator identifies the key issues of the dispute and assists both parties to come to an agreement. If a resolution is reached and put into a formal agreement signed by the parties, it is legally binding. Therefore, it is enforceable in case one of the parties does not abide by the agreement.
Early Neutral Evaluation (“ENE”)
In an ENE, the parties invite a neutral third party to give an opinion or “evaluation” of the merits of their respective cases. An impartial evaluator is usually a lawyer or an expert in the field. The evaluation provided can assist the parties with the settlement.
In expert determination, an independent third party acts as an expert appointed by the parties to decide the dispute privately. An expert determination is seen as a binding decision that is enforceable as a contract between the parties.
Executive tribunal (mini-trial)
This process involves a semi-formal hearing before a panel which consists of an executive or a senior management representative from either party and a neutral third party chosen by the parties.
For the purpose of this note, we are not looking at the arbitration as a form of ADR due to the fact that an arbitrator is involved to resolve the dispute. Nevertheless, arbitration is an alternative to litigation as the parties resolve the disputes without involving the courts. In arbitration, an arbitrator’s final decision is legally binding and the court can legally enforce it.
How Gherson can assist
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.