Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) typically refers to a method of resolving disputes by means not associated with formal litigation (court), such as mediation, arbitration, facilitation, or conciliation. One common element in all of the ADR procedures is the presence of a person who acts either as the facilitator or decision maker. This facilitator is a neutral person who is capable of providing an unbiased opinion.
In general, ADR allows everyone to have an active part in the decision-making process. Solutions are adopted by consensus, and reflect an understanding of the interests of all parties. As a result, the solutions are tailored to the needs of the participants. ADR encourages creative, innovative solutions, moving away from the traditional win/lose results of adversarial proceedings. ADR resolves disputes while preserving relationships, and thereby helps create a productive working environment.
ADR is useful in a wide range of conflicts, such as commercial disputes, professional liability cases, personal injury matters, insurance problems and family and divorce matters.