What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is the process of solving disputes through means other than traditional litigation in the courts.   There are several ways of doing this, and we've listed the most common forms of ADR below.  The list is organized in order of requiring third party intervention:

Negotiation
The process by which to or more parties reach a mutually agreed upon solution.  This can be done by the parties themselves, or by trained communicators.  Successful principled negotiations usually involve far more than simply reciting a list of demands, and need not be highly confrontational.

Facilitation
This describes a number of roles a trained ADR professional can play,  A facilitator acts to encourage participation, help with communication, and help the parties reach their own solutions.  For example, the parties involved in a negotiation may include a mutually agreed upon facilitator to help them in reaching a solution.

Mediation
This involves the inclusion of a neutral third party intermediary.  The mediator doesn't impose a solution, but instead facilitates the process by skillfully helping them to understand and explore the real underlying interests of the the other party.  The goal is often "win-win"

Arbitration
The process of deciding a dispute through the binding decision of up to three arbitrators, who have been chosen by the parties involved in the dispute.  An arbitrator performs a role similar to a judge, and in complicated matters an arbitration hearing can have some of the same formalities as might be found in a court room. Frequently, however, more straight forward disputes can be arbitrated in a simpler, less encumbered fashion.  Once parties have agreed to submit their dispute to arbitration, further recourse to the courts is avoided, and the decision of the arbitrator is regarded as final.  Arbitrations in Alberta are governed by the the Arbitration Act or the International Commercial Arbitration Act, and by agreements between the parties.

What can we do for you?

We are able to apply an ADR approach to resolving disputes in virtually any area of the law.  Examples of the services we provide are:

  • Assisted negotiations
  • Collaborative law process
  • Mediators, third party neutrals, by joint consent of parties or their counsel
  • Arbitrators, also by joint consent of parties or their counsel
  • Acting as counsel to parties in mediations or arbitrations
  • Judicial dispute resolutions and mini trials
  • Designing dispute resolution models for organizations, assisting with education of users, and administration of the process.