Alternative Dispute Resolution

Getting the Most out of ADR in Northern California 

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the catchall term for ways to resolve disagreements between parties who would otherwise bring their claims and defense to court in full-blown civil litigation. ADR offers the prospect of reduced timeframes and less expense in exchange for streamlined procedures with some potential cost to a litigant’s rights — for example, it’s usually impossible to appeal an arbitration decision. 

At the Heritage Law Group, our experience and familiarity with such alternative dispute resolution techniques as arbitration and mediation helps our clients take advantage of the efficiencies of ADR while protecting them against the pitfalls. To learn more about our law firm’s alternative dispute resolution practice, contact a seasoned ADR attorney at either of our two offices in the San Jose area. 

In some situations, ADR is mandatory under a contract 

If you need advice about breach or specific performance of a residential real estate purchase agreement, you’ll come to understand that there’s a mandatory mediation clause in most of these contracts. In other words, you’ll need to present your case at a facilitated mediation session where the objective is not to determine a winner or loser, but to settle the dispute on mutually acceptable terms. Only after mediation fails can you take your case to court or to binding arbitration. 

Similarly, mandatory arbitration clauses have become standard in California construction contracts. You’ll need to present your case to an arbitrator or arbitration panel that receives evidence, hears testimony and renders a binding decision. Our experience with alternative dispute resolution means that you can take advantage of the savings and compressed timeframes of ADR while protecting yourself from the potential disadvantages of a binding result without the right of appeal. Our ability to select mediators and arbitrators who will understand your position, by itself, represents an important advantage for our clients. 

Because our lawyers understand the special characteristics of alternative dispute resolution procedures, you stand to benefit from our ability to define and narrow the issues and present your case convincingly in a compressed format. Even when ADR is not mandatory, we can spot opportunities for taking advantage of its economies and pursue settlement through mediation or a favorable decision from an arbitrator. 

For additional information about the scope of our ADR practice and how mediation or arbitration can work for you, contact the Heritage Law Group in the San Jose area.