General Information

Benefits of ADR

There are benefits to using ADR as an alternative to litigation. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • ADR can save participants time and money. It allows the courts to wisely conserve trial resources for those cases where there is truly a need for litigation.
  • Often, parties are able to preserve their relationships after ADR; in trial there is a winner and a loser.
  • ADR provides more open, flexible, and responsive processes that are tailored to the unique needs of the parties.
  • ADR outcomes address the real needs of each party in an informal process that offers customized solutions and enhances community involvement in dispute resolution.
  • Using ADR instead of litigation often results in greater participant satisfaction.

Preliminary Considerations

Despite its many benefits, ADR may not be appropriate in all cases. As a general matter, the following situations should be seriously considered before using ADR as an alternative to litigation:

  • Where one party uses intimidation or refuses to share information
  • Where a party is too afraid to negotiate assertively
  • Where a party wants to continue to litigate
  • Where a party wants to establish a judicial precedent
  • Where there is recent or continuing domestic abuse or violence involving the parties
  • Where one or both parties are not mentally competent to understand the issues and negotiate assertively
  • When one or both parties are impaired by alcohol or substance abuse and cannot effectively negotiate
  • When the disposition of the participating attorneys is one of hostility and/ or incompatibility

Referral Methods

The parties to a case may stipulate to, or the Court may order the parties for a mandatory settlement conference (SC).  The parties can either attend an SC through private mediation, or with a Judge Pro Tempore (JPT) through the court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Department.  Cases are generally referred to ADR for a settlement conference by the Judge presiding over the case (Family, Civil, and Probate Cases).

ADR forms are available in the Law Library Resource Center:, and parties may contact the ADR office for additional information at 602-506-7884.

Referral Flow Charts:

Terms and Definitions

ADR Glossary


Emelda Dailey
ADR Program Coordinator
Contact the ADR Office

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