ADR Programs

Specific ADR programs available in Maricopa County Superior Court include:

Civil Short Trial

By stipulation, parties can agree to a binding, one-day jury trial. Each party has two hours to present its case before a group of four jurors. Three of the four jurors must agree to the verdict. A judge pro tempore presides over the short trial. Jury fees are assessed against the appropriate parties. Short Trial cannot be mandated; it can be suggested as an option, in the event that parties opt out of mandatory arbitration.

Appropriate Cases: Most civil matters, including cases where parties opt out of arbitration and choose Short Trial as a binding ADR alternative, as well as arbitration appeal cases. Common case types include: tort motor vehicle non-death injuries, contracts, medical malpractice and tort non-motor vehicle claims.

See frequently asked questions about Civil Short Trial.

Settlement Conference

A settlement conference is a pre-trial meeting between parties with their attorneys (if parties are represented) and a judicial officer/judge pro tempore acting as a neutral facilitator, who evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of their case and assists them in reaching agreement.

See frequently asked questions about settlement conferences.

Settlement conferences are available for Civil, Family, and Probate matters.


According to ARCP Rule 16 and Maricopa County Local Rule 3.11, the Court has discretion to direct parties in any civil case to a conference to facilitate settlement.


Settlement Conference: All pre-decree dissolution cases, paternity and maternity matters, as well as grandparent visitation cases can go to conference to facilitate settlement.

Get settlement conference memoranda form


Get Joint Certification Re: Settlement Conference Set Before a Judge Pro Tempore



Contested decedent estate cases, adult guardianship, and conservatorship matters can go to conference to facilitate settlement.

Family Private Mediator Roster

Mediation is a process where two or more people who are having a problem sit down with a mediator (an expert on problem-solving) to consider possible solutions.

The mediator does NOT tell people what to do or give legal advice! The mediator helps them look at all the solutions that might work to respond to the problem and the consequences related to making a particular decision. The mediator knows how people can make the best decisions for their particular situation.

The Family Private Mediator Roster is a listing of private mediators (see disclaimer) who can assist with family matters and have met the requirements of the ADR Office to be included in the roster.


General Procedure

Under ARCP, Rule 16(g)(1), effective December 1, 2001, the court may direct parties in any action to submit their dispute to a court authorized ADR Program. Under Rule 16(g)(2), parties to disputes have a duty to consider ADR, confer with one another about using an ADR process within 90 days of the first appearance, and report the outcome of their conference to the court within 30 days after their conference. Judges will issue a minute entry, corresponding to a specific ADR Program, to refer a matter to ADR.

Currently, court-annexed compulsory arbitration is under the Court’s Civil Division. For information about Arbitration, contact the Arbitration Office at 602-506-3850.


Emelda Dailey
ADR Program Coordinator
Contact the ADR Office

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