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ADR Overview

  1. What is ADR?
  2. Advantages of ADR
  3. Alternatives to going to court
  4. More Information on Local Rules on ADR

What is ADR?
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the common term for different ways of settling a dispute.
ADR includes mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation, settlement conferences, as well as special masters and referees.

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Advantages of ADR

  • ADR can save time. Litigation can take years to complete; ADR usually takes weeks or months.  If you decide to go to court, ADR can reduce the time to settlement.
  • ADR can save money. Parties can save on litigation costs and attoneys' fees.
  • ADR offers you more control and flexibility. Parties choose the process most appropriate for their case.  You have more control over the time, place, pace, and outcome of the process.  Further, meditation is voluntary.
  • ADR can be less stressful. In mediation, the mediator keeps the discussion on a positive and productive path and assists both parties to hear and be heard.
  • ADR can offer improved outcomes. Surveys indicated that people who have used ADR were more satisfied than people who went through a lawsuit or trial.
  • ADR can preserve relationships.  A mediator may be able to help you effectively communicate your interests and point of view to the other side and diffuse bad feelings on both sides.  These are important benefits when you want to preserve a relationship.

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Alternatives to going to court 

  • Mediation Services are available through non-profit and private mediation providers in our area.  You can find a mediator in the telephone book under "Mediator" or you can search the Internet.  You can also check the Mediator Database in the ADR section of the Court's main website here.
  • Judicial Arbitration is a court-sponsored program where either party can reject the arbitrator's decision and negotiate an agreement or move forward with a trial.
  • In Binding Arbitration, also called Private Arbitration, parties agree to have an arbitrator decide their case instead of going to trial.  You present your case at a hearing.  The presiding arbitrator will issue a written decision which is final and not subject to appeal.

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More Information on Local Rules on ADR 

  • Local Rules on ADR
    Alameda County Superior Court believes ADR can be helpful for every case. The Court encourages parties to use ADR to resolve their disputes.  Local rules are available here.
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