That’s a fancy legal phrase for a way to end a case without going to trial.
In NH, some form of ADR is required for all cases in suit.
The court wants to encourage parties to settle their disputes. This alleviates a burden and expense on the court. Jury trials are costly.
The most common is Mediation, an informal meeting of the parties and their lawyers with a neutral. It is non-binding. There is no science to it, and every mediation is different.
I’m happy to talk with you about details. If your lawyer suggests mediation, make sure they explain fully the game plan. I’ve seen too many cases where a lawyer just agrees on a mediator and shows up with their client. That’s not enough. Not all mediators are good, and I give great thought to which mediator I think would be best depending on the case, my client and the other side (lawyer and client!).
Make sure you and your lawyer have a strategy and you are fully advised on how the process works.
I’ll save the other form called Arbitration for a later blog. Generally it is binding and is done by a single arbitrator or a panel of 3 (where each party names an arbitrator and the 2 hand-picked people choose a third).
Have a great day.