ADR Programs

Specific ADR programs available in Maricopa County Superior Court include:

Civil Short Trial

Per Administrative Order No. 2023-024 (Attachment A):  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.


Generally.  At parties' request or on its own, a court may require the parties to participate in one or more pretrial settlement conferences unless the action is a lower court appeal or is subject to compulsory arbitration under Rule 72.  For the complete version of Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, click here:  ARCP Rule 16.1

According to ARCP Rule 16.1 and Maricopa County Local Rule 3.11, the Court has discretion to direct parties in any civil case to a settlement conference to facilitate settlement.

Appropriate cases:  Tort motor vehicle non-death injuries, contracts, medical malpractice and tort non-motor vehicle claims.

The Civil Department has modified the process for referring matters to ADR settlement conferences.  In cases referred to ADR on or after 2/1/2023, parties must file a Joint Certification of Readiness for Setting Settlement Conference Under Rule 16(i). 

Parties must confirm the following information: discovery and disclosure required to meaningfully engage in the conference is complete and there are no pending disclosure or discovery disputes that would interfere with the conference, the parties have engaged in good faith settlement discussions and have been unable to reach an agreement, any anticipated private mediation has been completed or efforts have otherwise been exhausted, there are no pending or anticipated motions that need to be decided before engaging in good faith settlement discussions, the parties understand their obligations to facilitate the scheduling of the conference, the parties understand they need to attend and any representative with authority needs to be available throughout the conference, they will comply with the requirement to submit materials in advance of the conference, and they understand sanctions may be imposed if the certification is not true, the parties are not prepared to participate in the settlement conference, or they fail to participate in good faith.  Counsel must also certify they have discussed Rule 16 and the certification requirement with their clients.  Failure to timely file the Joint Request will result in ADR notifying the assigned judge and an order vacating the ADR referral with leave for the parties to seek another referral after completing the certification process.

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


Duties to Consider and Attempt Settlement by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):  A.R.S Rules Family Law Procedure, Rule 66

Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution:  A.R.S. Rules Family Law Procedure, Rule 67

Appropriate Cases:  All pre-decree dissolution cases, paternity and maternity matters, as well as grandparent visitation cases.

Click on below links for the new procedures for ADR referrals:


Settlement Conference:  A.R.S. Rules Probate Procedure, Rule 22

Appropriate Cases:  Contested decedent estate cases, adult guardianship, and conservatorship matters.


Emelda Dailey
ADR Program Coordinator
Contact the ADR Office

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