What is ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

What is ADR ?
(Alternative Dispute Resolution)

ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution is a means of resolving disputes without going through litigation.

The two most common areas of practice in ADR are mediation and arbitration.

Both methods enable the parties to find amicable solutions to their conflicts outside of the traditional route through the courts.

ADR does not have the formalities that are required in the traditional legal setting. It is the parties that have control on how ADR is conducted whether through mediation or arbitration.

What is the Benefit of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Whether through mediation or arbitration, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a cost and time effective process to resolve your issue. No matter if a lawsuit has been filed on your case or not, ADR is a tool that is used in order to reasonably resolve your conflict without going to court.

ADR allows you to forgo the lengthy process of waiting on the court’s docket or the costly court fees associated with trial. ADR gives you the power to control over the process and allows you to quickly conclude your conflict.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process where an impartial and neutral person assists in the negotiation of a conflict between the parties.

The mediator is merely a facilitator for the parties to talk and express their concerns including their interests in the dispute.

The mediator listens to the parties’ interests and attempts to negotiate and resolve the dispute that the parties feel is reasonable.

In mediation, it is the parties that are in control.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration differs from mediation in where the decision rests solely with the arbitrator or arbitrators. Sometimes more than one arbitrator is involved.

Unlike a mediation, a hearing takes place where the arbitrator(s) hears the parties’ argument.

Depending on what evidence, if any, and what is stated in the hearing, the arbitrator(s) make a final decision resolving the conflict. This is what is called an arbitration award.

What is used in the hearing, including the rules of law that the hearing will follow, is mutually agreed to by the parties involved. That is the rules of law must be in conformity with the laws of the State, if any are used.

The common thread in both mediation and arbitration is that the parties agree to abide by the determination of the award in arbitration or the agreed upon settlement agreement in mediation.

Is ADR confidential?

Discussions during mediation and arbitration are completely confidential and privileged. What happens in ADR, stays in ADR.

In arbitration, the hearing itself is confidential.

In mediation, the discussions are completely confidential and privileged. The mediator cannot disclose what you have discussed to the other side unless you have agreed to do so.

Neither a mediator or arbitrator can be subpoenaed to testify in court to what occurred during either process.

In essence, confidentiality is critical to a successful mediation or arbitration.

Disclosure will only occur if there is a reasonable belief that violence has occurred or if there is a threat of violence at one or more of the parties involved in the dispute.

Are the settlement agreements and arbitration awards binding?

In mediation, the “Settlement Agreement” is a binding contract between the parties and either can seek remedies if the agreement is breached. In the case of a dispute that is in litigation, a settlement determination is sent to the court whether the mediation resulted in a settlement or not.

In arbitration, the arbitration award ends the conflict completely. If a dispute is in litigation, it is up to the parties to submit it to the court. It is in very rare occasions that the court will overturn an arbitration award.

How does Islamic law apply here?

Many couples and parties within the Muslim community wish to have their conflicts or divorces handled according to Islamic principles.

IAMS, is completely suited to conduct either mediation or arbitration in compliance with the Quran, the Sunnah, and the historical precedence that has been understood by our scholars.

At the same time, IAMS, ensures that all agreements and awards will hold up to Texas State law.

Any other questions?

If you have any questions about mediation, arbitration, or any part of the alternative dispute resolution process, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

How we help in dispute resolution?

Whether through mediation or arbitration, IAMS, attempts to make the process seamless and easy. First, reach out and book an initial consultation online. During the initial consultation, with one or both parties, we will discuss the core issue in dispute whether it is a marital issue or dispute. From there, a course of action will be determined. All parties will agree to how the dispute is to be resolved. In some cases, it may be ordered by the Texas family court what action needs to be taken. Parties will fill out and sign the respective agreements and a date for either a mediation session or arbitration is to be set at the earliest and most convenient time.

All hearings for arbitration are set two weeks after the initial consultation. A deadline for evidence, if any, to be presented is set within a reasonable time before the hearing to be offered to the arbitrators to be reviewed. After the hearing, an arbitration award will be delivered to all parties 10 days after. For mediation, the settlement agreement will be delivered three days after the conclusion of the session. It is up to the parties to finalize the agreement or award and present it to the court if the dispute is already in litigation.