Alternative dispute resolution is the method used to try and prevent parties from undergoing the adversarial systems associated with going through litigation. There are many aspects to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including arbitration, settlement facilitation, mediation and others. In this post we’ll discuss settlement facilitation specifically.
The facilitator, or mediator, assists the parties in reaching a resolution, but does not dictate the terms of settlement. He or she helps the parties assess the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and may suggest a possible solution. However, the parties have the power to create their own mutually satisfactory agreement. Local rules mandate an attempt at facilitation of many civil cases, with some exceptions. Facilitators may be chosen by parties (or their attorneys) or by the Court, through the ADR Office. Cost can vary, but a typical facilitation will cost $500 for a half day. This cost is shared by the parties. If successful facilitation can be a very inexpensive way of resolving a dispute.