Learn about alternative dispute resolution. Discover how it can help in different legal cases and why people use it instead of other litigation options.

Every day the courts in Connecticut have overloaded dockets. They try to hear as many cases as possible, but it can be slow going to get through all of the ones that are scheduled. Those who have cases going to court also have issues. It is stressful and costly to go to court. Luckily, there is a solution that might offer both the courts and individuals with legal cases an answer to their problems. An option for many cases is alternative dispute resolution.

ADR Defined

ADR is a way to resolve a legal matter that does not require going through a normal court case. The two most common types of ADR, according to the Federal Trade Commission, include arbitration and mediation. As with any type of ADR, these processes require the parties in the legal matter to talk and negotiate a settlement or conclusion to the matter. Instead of a judge, an arbitrator or mediator will preside over the hearing or meetings where the parties come together to have discussions.

While the goal is to come to a conclusion that everyone agrees is fair, sometimes an ADR case will not be resolved. In that situation, the right to a court hearing still stands and the parties may proceed with litigation in front of a judge.

How it is used

ADR is gaining in popularity for a few key reasons. First, it can move a case along much more quickly than the normal litigation process, which saves time and money. It also is less stressful. These things alone make ADR quite attractive in civil cases, especially those in the areas of personal injury, family law and business.

According to Asian Scientist, the process is favorable to everyone involved because it allows the parties to really talk through what happened. They each can explain to the other their feelings and observations. It is a way to inject helpful emotion and information into the process that does not occur in court. It also allows alternative options for resolving the issue at hand that a judge may not be able to offer.

Cases well suited for ADR are those where the parties are open to discussion and willing to negotiate. Another important factor is how likely the type of case is to be successful in arbitration or mediation. Some higher stakes cases may not be suitable because it is more difficult to reach an agreement with both parties.

Alternative dispute resolution is an option in many different cases. However, it still requires legal assistance to ensure it goes smoothly. If you are interested in learning more about ADR, please contact an attorney, such as Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C.