Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the term utilized to refer to procedures for settling legal disputes by means other than litigation. Use of alternative dispute resolution generally results in a more expeditious and less expensive process, which is typically more satisfactory to the parties than a traditional lawsuit.
Mediation and arbitration are the most common types of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is a private, informal dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, meets with the parties. After evaluating the information provided by the parties and based on training and expertise, the mediator facilitates the parties in reaching a resolution of the dispute. Arbitration is typically conducted by one person or by a three-person panel, who act as both judge and jury. After conducting a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard, the arbitrator or arbitrators render a decision referred to as an “award.” In binding arbitration, the award is final and enforceable through the courts.
Several of our attorneys are qualified neutrals under Minnesota Supreme Court Rule 114, and have assisted parties in mediating cases relating to real estate, construction, and other business and commercial disputes. Parties select our attorneys based on their expertise in the subject matter, their ability to understand both sides of a dispute, and their reputation for being fair.
Our litigation attorneys also have extensive experience representing and advocating for clients in mediation and arbitration. This experience enables our firm to participate completely in any alternative dispute resolution procedure that a court may order or encourage. It also allows our firm to consider and suggest alternate methods of resolving a claim that may be more beneficial or more cost-effective for our clients in certain cases.