Mediation & Arbitration

Types of Alternative Dispute Resolutions

View different types of alternative dispute resolutions below:


  • Early Neutral Evaluation is a process whereby an evaluator is appointed by the court or chosen by the parties to intervene in a lawsuit for the purpose of narrowing the issues, assisting in case planning and management and assisting in settlement, if appropriate.
  • Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third party (the mediator) helps the parties communicate and negotiate so that they may achieve settlement of the dispute. There are a variety of ways to encourage effective communication. Generally, mediators will use a range of techniques to achieve effective communication. Below are descriptions of the two ends of the spectrum of mediation:
    • Evaluative mediation
      In this type of mediation, the mediator assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the legal issues in the case and offers an opinion of the likely result at the end of trial. The mediator suggests options or settlement ideas. This type of communication and assessment requires substantive knowledge of the law and/or court processes.
    • Facilitative mediation
      The mediator does not offer an opinion. This type of mediation does not require substantive experience in the law or court process. In this type of mediation, the mediator helps the parties develop and evaluate options as well as explore the presenting issues as well as the underlying interest.
  • Negotiation is a process whereby parties in a dispute communicate with each other, directly, or indirectly, about the issues in disagreement in order to reach a settlement of their differences.
  • Settlement Conference is a process whereby a neutral and impartial legal professional hears both sides of the case and conducts an informal assessment and negotiation session and may advise the parties on the law and precedent relative to the dispute and suggests a settlement.

More Adversarial

  • Arbitration is a process whereby one or more neutral and impartial expert third parties hear and consider the evidence and testimony provided by the disputants and issue a binding or non-binding decision.
  • Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb) is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third party facilitates communication between negotiating parties and, failing settlement, receives evidence and testimony provided by the parties and issues a binding decision.
  • Mini-trial is a process whereby a neutral party and an official with settlement authority from each party listen to the evidence and conduct settlement negotiations.
  • Summary Jury Trial is a process whereby summary presentations in complex cases are made before a jury impaneled to make findings which may or not be binding.

Dispute Resolution Centers

You can find out about various locations offering these services by viewing our information about dispute resolution centers.