Additional ADR Services

The MAA facilitates several methods of alternative dispute resolution in addition to mediation and arbitration. These methods can be conducted confidentially and do not preclude other dispute resolution options.

Fact finding involves a neutral who investigates facts giving rise to the dispute. The fact finder interviews both sides, gathers additional information, and presents findings and possible solutions to the parties. These findings and recommendations are not binding but may be used in settlement negotiations.

Mini-trials allow each side to present a limited version of its case as it would in trial. This allows the parties to focus on particular issues that may be impediments to settlement. Once the mini-trial is concluded the neutral may or may not render a decision, depending on the wishes of the parties.

Neutral evaluation is a process in which the parties retain a neutral to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case. The neutral offers a non-binding evaluation of how a court might decide the matter. This neutral also helps each side view the case from the other’s perspective and explores common ground in the dispute. Evaluators are not decision-makers. They cannot assume an advisory role for the parties should the case not settle.

Private trials may closely resemble actual court trials, with the protection of confidentiality. In the context of an existing lawsuit, neutrals are selected as private judges by stipulation. Upon approval by the court, the lawsuit is held in abeyance until a decision is reached. In jurisdictions where permitted, a judgment may be entered in the court’s docket as if the trial had been held in court, preserving an appellate remedy.