Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), also known as external dispute resolution in some places, is an alternative to formal litigation, and it can help to keep both plaintiffs and defendants from having to appear in court. You can get more information about the best alternative dispute resolution services via

There are four distinct types of ADR including:

  • Negotiations

  • Collaborative Law

  • Mediation

  • Arbitration

ADR is a way of settling disputes between two parties before the issues ever reach formal litigation by way of a third, neutral party. 

This neutral party must be present for each of the ADR types except negotiation, and he or she must be neutral to the issue at hand. He or she must also be able to offer an unbiased opinion, an unbiased decision and facilitate the process of the ADR without any issues.

Most cases seeking ADR allow the parties to circumvent the legal system and formal litigation altogether. However, another type happens when a court orders the plaintiff and defendant to seek Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

This is slightly different from the laws requiring ADR before bringing the issue to court because in this case, there is a court order for ADR whereas the law stating parties must seek ADR first is not a court order.

Can ADR Help Keep a Defendant out of Court?

The simple answer is yes. Because some states require ADR before formal litigation, using ADR has a higher chance of an out-of-court settlement or resolution of the dispute. 

ADR is most often used in civil and family matters such as divorce, custody, and child support issues; personal injury and liability issues, most other insurance issues, and many business or commercial issues and disputes.