Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a process that allows individuals to resolve disputes without going to trial. It is a faster, less expensive, and more flexible approach to resolving conflicts than the traditional court system. ADR methods include mediation, arbitration, negotiation and neutral evaluation.

At Karimi & Associates Law Firm, we understand that legal disputes can be a stressful and time-consuming process. That’s why we offer our clients the option of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve their issues outside of court. Our team of experienced lawyers and experts will work with you to evaluate your case and determine the most appropriate ADR method to achieve a fair and efficient resolution. Our team will guide you through the ADR process, from selecting the ADR method to preparing for the proceedings and representing you during the resolution. Our goal is to provide you with a cost-effective and timely solution that meets your needs and expectations.


The use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes began in the 1970s as a means of resolving disputes outside of traditional court systems. ADR processes were initially used experimentally to address concerns around court backlogs, as well as to provide resolution techniques for environmental and natural resource disputes.

In 1985, the Attorney General of the United States recognized the need for ADR in order to reduce the time and expense of civil litigation. As a result, an order was issued to promote the use of ADR in resolving disputes. This move was aimed at mitigating the delays and high costs associated with traditional court proceedings.

A few years later, the Department of Justice further recognized the benefits of ADR. During Congressional testimony by its Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice supported the first ADR legislation enacted by Congress in 1990. This legislation encouraged the use of ADR processes as a means of resolving disputes in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, which is beneficial for both the parties involved and the court system as a whole.


Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provides a number of advantages over traditional litigation, including:

1) It allows complaints to be processed much more quickly, which means that disputes can be resolved earlier. This can be particularly beneficial for parties who are dealing with time-sensitive matters and need a resolution as soon as possible.

2) It often leads to more creative solutions. Unlike traditional litigation, which can be quite rigid and limiting in terms of the types of remedies that are available, ADR allows parties to come up with unique and innovative solutions that may not be available through the court system. This can be particularly useful in complex cases where there are no clear-cut solutions.

3) It can also save time for attorneys, staff, and parties. Because the process is typically faster and more streamlined than traditional litigation, it can be a more efficient way to resolve disputes. This can save everyone involved a significant amount of time and money.

4) It offers a quicker resolution than a hearing would offer and less time that the parties have spent under the cloud of pending litigation. Parties can also come up with creative resolutions acceptable to them, but which a third-party reviewer could not impose. Additionally, parties can reach a durable and voluntary agreement, which can help them to avoid future disputes.

Even in cases where resolution is not achieved, the ADR process has other distinct advantages. For example:

It can lay the groundwork for a subsequent settlement by helping parties to better understand each other’s positions and interests. It can also increase clarification of the issues for third-party review, making it easier for a judge or arbitrator to make a decision if the case ultimately goes to trial.

Types of ADR


It is a method of resolving disputes where an impartial or neutral individual (arbitrator) or a panel (arbitration panel) presents a binding decision. Normally, parties can choose the arbitrators unless specified otherwise. Sometimes, parties may appoint a specific arbitrator, often from a list of arbitrators, to handle a series of cases or serve the parties for a specific period (usually when a panel is involved). However, they typically choose a different arbitrator for each new dispute. The parties agree that they will be bound by the decision of the third party rather than merely obligated to “consider” an opinion or suggestion. Under this method, the decision of the third party carries the weight of the law but does not establish a legal precedent. It generally cannot be reviewed by the courts. Federal labor management agreements mandate binding arbitration. The parties to such agreements can negotiate the terms and conditions under which arbitrators are used to resolve disputes, including the procedures for their selection. Some agreements may provide for “permanent” arbitrators and some may provide for arbitration panels.


It is a voluntary process by which an impartial and neutral third party intervenes in a dispute or negotiation to help the parties reach a resolution. The mediator has no decision-making authority and the parties are free to accept or reject any proposed resolution. Mediation is particularly useful in highly-polarized disputes where the parties have been unable to initiate a productive dialogue, or where the parties have been talking but have reached a seemingly insurmountable impasse.

In mediation, the mediator’s primary role is to assist the parties in reaching an acceptable resolution of the issues in dispute. The mediator provides procedural suggestions to help the parties reach an agreement, and may occasionally suggest some substantive options to expand the range of possible resolutions under consideration. The mediator often works with the parties individually, in caucuses, to explore acceptable resolution options or to develop proposals that might move the parties closer to resolution.

Mediators differ in their degree of directiveness or control while assisting disputing parties. Some mediators set the stage for bargaining, make minimal procedural suggestions, and intervene in the negotiations only to avoid or overcome a deadlock. Other mediators are much more involved in forging the details of a resolution. Regardless of how directive the mediator is, the mediator serves as a catalyst to enable the parties to initiate progress towards their own resolution of issues in dispute.

Mediation can be a highly effective way of resolving disputes, as it allows the parties to have a greater degree of control over the outcome than they would have in a court or arbitration proceeding. Moreover, mediation is generally less expensive, less time-consuming, and less adversarial than litigation and can be used to resolve a wide range of disputes, including business disputes, employment disputes, family disputes, and community disputes.


Negotiation is one of the most common forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It involves the parties and their legal representatives working together to resolve a dispute by reaching an agreement. This can be done through written correspondence or by meeting in person. Negotiations may be conducted “without prejudice”, meaning that any statements made during negotiations cannot later be used in court. Negotiation and settlement are typically more cost-effective than going to court or engaging in a prolonged dispute.

Neutral Evaluation

It is a process that can be used to encourage settlement in legal disputes. It involves an impartial expert who has subject matter expertise listening to abbreviated arguments from both parties. The expert will then review the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case and offer an evaluation of the probable court outcomes. This evaluation is designed to help the parties understand the potential outcomes if they were to go to court, and to encourage them to consider settling the dispute outside of court.

In addition to providing an evaluation, the neutral evaluator may also offer guidance on case planning and settlement assistance, with the parties’ consent. This guidance can help the parties better understand the legal issues at hand and the various options they have for resolving their dispute. It can also help those craft settlement proposals that are more likely to be accepted by the other party.

Given the complexity of matters related to alternative dispute resolution methods, seeking advice from professional lawyers is more crucial than ever. By contacting us, you can connect with a team of experienced legal experts who can provide you with the necessary help and guidance to keep your cases on track!


Alaleh Ghanbari

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