If you’ve found your way to this page, you probably have questions about dispute resolution and whether it might be an option for your situation. Here are the top five things most people wonder about when it comes to alternative dispute resolution services:
What exactly is ADR?
ADR stands for alternative dispute resolution, an umbrella term used to describe several different methods of settling a legal matter without a court trial. All of them involve a neutral third party who oversees the resolution process.
Are ADR and mediation the same thing?
Mediation is one form of ADR. You’ve probably heard of it because it’s the most popular form. In mediation, a skilled impartial legal professinal helps both parties to clarify their issues, review options for a resolution and reach a settlement. Other forms of ADR include private arbitration and conciliation. At Why Litigate, we can direct you to the form of ADR that best meets your needs.
Is ADR approved by the Court as a way to resolve legal matters?
Yes. In fact, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court mandates that attorneys inform their clients about dispute resolution alternatives. In its “Guide to Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution Services” (Mass.gov), the Court states: There is a body of literature suggesting that the use of appropriate dispute resolution methods at an earlier stage in the process may substantially reduce the cost, time and complexity of the litigation, while promoting greater satisfaction on the part of both litigants and attorneys. The Massachusetts court system is committed to providing the public with a variety of options for resolving disputes outside the courtroom. The parties may choose to use a dispute resolution service as early in the proceedings as they desire.”
How do I choose a reputable ADR provider?
As with any professional service, you want to choose someone who has a wealth of experience providing ADR services within the specific field you need assistance with. For example, if you are facing a family law issue (e.g. divorce), make sure the ADR provider you choose has a proven track record in that legal area. Also, the Massachusetts Trial Court has a list of approved ADR providers for each county in the state. Why Litigate is one of just six Worcester County ADR providers approved by the Trial Court’s Probate and Family Court Department.
What is the first step I should take to see if ADR is right for me?
A reputable ADR provider will offer an initial consultation at no cost. So, arm yourself with a few pertinent questions and reach out to your top two or three choices. If Why Litigate is one of them, give us a call at 508-556-0153 or email us at email@example.com.