Glossary Of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

ADR is an alternative to litigation.  It includes a range of conciliation and negotiation processes which may be “blended” by agreement to reach a resolution. Participation may be voluntary or court ordered. The aim is to save:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Stress
  • Reduce Acrimony


Two common processes include:

Facilitative:  Non-adversarial, aims for a win/win for participants.  Compromise is required to reach best possible agreement.  There is a focus on self-determination; in terms of the underlying needs and interests of the participants, rather than their legal rights and obligations.  Participants may attend with/without legal practitioners; the process is private and confidential; the mediator is neutral and assists in reaching agreement.  Mediation agreements may be drafted as Consent Orders, filed in Court and then become legally enforceable.

Evaluative: The objective is to reach settlement based on the parties’ legal rights and entitlements.


Mirrors a court process but is usually less formal.  An arbitrator decides some or all of the issues in dispute and makes a determinative ruling in the form of an award.  The form of arbitration is decided, witnesses may be called, evidence tendered, and a time limit set.  It may be kept confidential.