Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program
Coconino County Superior Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program offers mediation as an alternative to the traditional litigation process. Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party, a mediator, helps the parties to communicate with one another, to understand one another, and if possible, to reach an agreement that satisfies each party's needs.
Mediation gives the parties an opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the complaint or petition, clear up misunderstandings, determine the underlying interests or concerns, find areas of agreement and, ultimately, to incorporate those areas of agreement into a resolution. Some benefits to mediation are:
- The parties speak for themselves and make their own decisions.
- The parties have an opportunity to talk about what is important to them and hear other's different perspectives.
- Unlike courtroom proceedings which are open to the public, mediation is a confidential process. If you do not sign a written agreement in mediation and you decide to take your dispute to court, neither the mediator nor the participants in the mediation can testify in court about what happened during the mediation.
- Mediation is not an adversarial win / lose process.
- Mediation allows for more creative solutions than traditional litigation and can go beyond what the law would normally address.
What Mediators Are Not
Mediators are not judges and therefore do not decide who is right or wrong. Mediators do not have authority to impose a settlement on the parties. Instead, the role of the mediator is to manage the process through which parties resolve their conflict, not to decide how the conflict should be resolved.
Representation by Attorney
Parties may be represented by an attorney in mediation but it is not required. The fee for a four-hour mediation session is $240 per party. This has been effective since November 1, 2009.
Mediation is not about winning and losing, but rather about having an opportunity to identify solutions that work for all parties involved in the dispute. If the parties do not reach an agreement, they can still have the case handled by the court or resolved in some other way.
For More Information
For more information about the Coconino County Superior Court ADR Program, please call (928) 679-7508.