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Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures (Mediation / Settlement Conference)

Effective Tucson Lawyers of Heurlin Sherlock Are Ready to Assist You In Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.

If you have a legal dispute with another party, litigation is not the only option available to you. Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR], also known as mediation and settlement conference, can provide a way to resolve your issue with less time, stress and expense involved than a court trial. The lawyers and legal staff of Heurlin Sherlock  in Tucson can offer you the personnel and facilities to engage in constructive ADR procedures and represent you in trying to resolve your case outside of the courtroom.

Why should you consider ADR for your court dispute?

To begin with, it is required (at least to consider it, that is). Arizona’s rules of civil procedure require parties to confer and consider in good faith the possibilities of settlement and participating in ADR procedures before going to trial. If they cannot agree to use ADR procedures, they must still confer with the court and explain why they don’t believe ADR would be useful.

ADR is less expensive and time-consuming than court litigation. Its proceedings are often confidential and informal – not requiring a formal process of evidence discovery, motions, court reporters or jurors, etc. – all of which cost either more time or more money than ADR.

Different Forms of ADR

Beyond the typical process of negotiations that may take place between the parties before court proceedings, typical forms of ADR are either mediation or settlement conference or arbitration. Though some people mistakenly use the terms interchangeably, there are differences between these forms of ADR.

Mediation / Settlement Conference

This is a confidential and informal procedure where a neutral third-party acts as a “mediator” to help the parties identify areas of agreement and try to get them to compromise in order to settle their dispute. Sometimes the mediator will gather all the parties together in the same room to discuss their issues, and other times will talk to each party privately in order to better understand their position and concerns. A neutral mediator can sometimes encourage compromise when direct negotiation between the parties has become ineffective due to bad feelings, personalities, etc.

Mediation is not binding, and there is no requirement to reach an agreement if the parties remain too far apart in their positions. Since it is also confidential and will not prejudice either party during trial if it becomes necessary, there is rarely a downside for the parties to consider engaging in mediation.


The ADR process of arbitration can be either “binding” or “non-binding.” Binding arbitration involves a third-party, neutral arbitrator who will hear the dispute between the two sides. Unlike a mediator however, the arbitrator’s job is to render a judgment on who he or she thinks has the better case and rule on it. Though arbitration is far more quick and informal than a court trial, there can be more formalities involved than mediation. The decision and resolution measures of the arbitrator are binding on the parties in the case of binding arbitration and will usually be upheld by a court.

Non-binding arbitration allows for an arbitration procedure between the parties that will not be binding on the courts if one or both parties reject the arbitrator’s judgment. However, it can still be useful for parties to use in assessing the potential strength of their case when given the chance to present it in front of a neutral person who is experienced in hearing and ruling on the type of case you are involved in.

The experienced legal staff at Heurlin Sherlock can assist you in scheduling or facilitating ADR procedures for your case and represent you in mediation, settlement conference, arbitration, or any other forms of ADR.

Contact Professional Tucson Attorneys Today for All Your ADR Needs

If you need representation in a case and also wish to consider ADR to resolve a dispute, contact the offices of Heurlin Sherlock in Tucson where you will promptly be put in touch with a knowledgeable attorney advocate ready to assist you.