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ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution

Types of ADR - Alternative Dispute Resolution


Mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of ADR because it is informal, quick, convenient and confidential. In this process the parties select a neutral mediator who facilitates the identification of issues and areas of agreement and assists in finding a resolution or settlement of the dispute. Since mediation requires the agreement of the parties to resolve the matter, control of the proceedings and a determination of the settlement terms remains completely in the parties hands. The mediator remains neutral and assists the parties in arriving at terms that are mutually agreeable.


The parties jointly employ a neutral third party or a panel of neutrals to listen to both sides and render a decision. The parties are free to make the arbitrator"s decision binding or non-binding. When non-binding, the arbitrator"s decision serves as guide or influence upon the parties to bring them closer to settlement. If it is binding, the decision of the arbitrator will be final and generally avoids any further proceedings in the case. Non-binding judicial arbitration may be ordered in certain cases before trial.

Early Neutral Evaluation:

A neutral evaluator is hired by the parties to give an evaluation of the case to help settle it. You or your attorney will be permitted to prepare a written statement, present critical witnesses or other evidence, argue your case to the evaluator, meet separately and confidentially with the evaluator, and utilize the evaluator to communicate any settlement offers to the opposing party.

Private Settlement Conference:

A voluntary settlement conference is similar to early neutral evaluation in that the parties employ a neutral settlement officer who attempts to persuade the parties to accept a compromise position. It is a form of facilitated negotiation in which the settlement officer may express an opinion about the value of the case, the substantive merits of each party's position, and the probable outcome of the trial.

What is Collaborative Practice

  • Collaborative Practice is a way to resolve disputes between people in a fair, open and respectful manner.
  • In Collaborative Practice, the goal is to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of a dispute.
  • The parties retain Collaborative Professionals such as attorneys, accountants, financial planners, and therapists, who agree to work in good faith to gather and share all information needed to reach an agreement.
  • The parties and their Collaborative Attorneys agree that they will not go to court to ask a judge to resolve their dispute for them during the collaborative process.
  • If they are unable to reach an agreement, and one of the parties decides to go to court, the Collaborative Professionals withdraw.
  • Litigation attorneys and forensic experts are then retained to take the dispute to court.

Sonoma County Superior Court ADR Forms

CV-2 Alternative Dispute Resolution Information Sheet *Fillable

CV-7 Stipulation and Order Referring Matter to Alternative Dispute Resolution *Fillable

CV-35 Notice Of Selection As Mediator In Court-Connected Mediation *Fillable

CV-37 Attorney Questionnaire *Fillable (Confidential)

CV-38 Party Questionnaire *Fillable (Confidential)

CV-39 Non-Party Participant Questionnaire (Confidential)

ADR-100 Statement of Agreement or Nonagreement *Fillable

ADR-107 Attendance Sheet for Court-Program Mediation of Civil Case *Fillable


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