ADR Terms and Definitions

A mutually-crafted statement of understanding written at the end of the mediation session and signed by both parties and the mediator. Mediation agreements are binding and usually reflect a party's offer and another's acceptance of that offer; usually, general contract principles apply to mediation agreements.

The mediator may decide to meet separately with the parties or the parties may request to meet separately with the mediator in a caucus. This is an individual meeting that provides each party with the opportunity to share concerns privately with the mediator. Often parties may be uncomfortable revealing certain types of information in the joint session. In a caucus, parties may propose their ideas for settlement and offer suggestions they may be reluctant to offer the joint session. In general, a caucus is a confidential session; the mediator shares only the information that the parties wish to reveal.

Mediation is a confidential process, and all mediation sessions are private. All statements made and information exchanged during the mediation are confidential. All notes taken during the mediation session shall be given to the mediator for disposal at the conclusion of the sessions. The mediator will not discuss the case outside of the sessions. Participants shall not discuss anything revealed in mediation with anyone else outside of mediation.

Judge Pro Tempore
Arizona is one of the few states that allows an attorney to be appointed a judge with full powers for the length of a case or series of proceedings. In Maricopa County,  judges pro tempore handle matters, help keep backlogs down and cover for vacation schedules.

A process in which disputing parties work collectively with the aid of an impartial, third-party volunteer in order to resolve a dispute.

A neutral, third-party volunteer who has been trained to mediate. The mediator assists the parties in reaching a consensus by facilitating their communication, but it is the parties themselves who shape their agreement.

To not align or take sides with a particular group.


Emelda Dailey
ADR Program Coordinator
Contact the ADR Office

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