Alternative Dispute Resolution
Over the past few decades, alternatives to trial—collectively referred to as methods of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR)—have become more prevalent as a means of resolving disputes short of the courtroom or actual trial. In fact, it’s now common for the courts to order parties to try resolving most types of disputes through ADR prior to a trial. As a result, many of our clients have welcomed the evolution of ADR as a way of reaching a conclusion without the high costs and lengthy delays often associated with court trials.
Specific ADR methods include mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, and mini-trials. ADR can be an effective tool for businesses in almost every industry and for personal matters as well.
Through ADR, our attorneys flex their advocacy skills to resolve common disputes or complex matters in what is usually considered a more favorable environment than that of traditional litigation. We accomplish this through various means:
- Encouraging consideration of ADR methods (if appropriate) and supporting clients throughout the process by defining and selecting processes to maximize the outcome
- Assisting with the selection of neutrals
- Acting as a “neutral” mediator or arbitrator for groups such as the American Arbitration Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers)
- Mediating marital dissolutions, custody arrangements, or subsequent changes to related court orders
- Navigating our business and individual clients through the ADR process when mandated by agreement or court order
- Assisting businesses in setting up ADR programs as the designated means of employment or other dispute resolution (via written contracts and agreements) in order to avoid the time and expense often associated with protracted litigation.
Danna McKitrick has several attorneys who have distinguished themselves in ADR and who also serve as qualified neutrals in Missouri and federal courts or on mediation and arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, and Pinnacle Arbitration & Mediation Services.
In our experience, the flexibility afforded through using ADR methods for resolving disputes usually results in significant cost saving while also removing some of the uncertainties associated with more traditional trial processes.