Superior Court >Alternative Dispute Resolution

ADR Programs What ADR programs are available in Maricopa County Superior Court?
General Procedure: Under ARCP, Rule 16(g)(1), effective December 1, 2001, the court may direct parties in any action to submit their dispute to a court authorized ADR Program. Under Rule 16(g)(2), parties to disputes have a duty to consider ADR, confer with one another about using an ADR process within 90 days of the first appearance, and report the outcome of their conference to the court within 30 days after their conference. Judges will issue a minute entry, corresponding to a specific ADR Program, to refer a matter to ADR.

Currently, court-annexed compulsory arbitration is under the Courts Civil Division. For information about Arbitration, contact the Arbitration Office at 602-506-3850.

Specific Programs:

Civil Settlement Conference
  • Contact: Emelda Dailey, ADR Program Coordinator
  • Description: A pre-trial meeting between parties with their attorneys (if parties are represented) and a judicial officer/judge pro tempore acting as a neutral facilitator, who evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of their case and assists them in reaching agreement.
  • Appropriate Cases: According to ARCP Rule 16 and Maricopa County Local Rule 3.11, the Court has discretion to direct parties in any civil case to a conference to facilitate settlement.
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Civil Short Trial
  • Contact: Emelda Dailey, ADR Program Coordinator
  • Description: By stipulation, parties can agree to a binding, one-day jury trial. Each party has two hours to present its case before a group of four jurors. Three of the four jurors must agree to the verdict. A judge pro tempore presides over the short trial. Jury fees are assessed against the appropriate parties. Short Trial cannot be mandated; it can be suggested as an option, in the event that parties opt out of mandatory arbitration.
  • Appropriate Cases: Most civil matters, including cases where parties opt out of arbitration and choose Short Trial as a binding ADR alternative, as well as arbitration appeal cases. Common case types include: tort motor vehicle non-death injuries, contracts, medical malpractice and tort non-motor vehicle claims.
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Family Court Settlement Conference
  • Contact: Emelda Dailey, ADR Program Coordinator
  • Description: A pre-trial meeting between parties and their attorneys (if parties are represented) and a judicial officer acting as a neutral facilitator, who evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of their case and assists them in reaching agreement.
  • Appropriate Cases: All pre- and post-decree dissolution cases, paternity and maternity matters, as well as grandparent visitation cases.
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Probate Settlement Conference
  • Contact: Emelda Dailey, ADR Program Coordinator
  • Description: A pre-trial meeting between parties with their attorneys (if parties are represented) and a judicial officer/judge pro tempore acting as a neutral facilitator, who evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of their case and assists them in reaching agreement.
  • Appropriate Cases: Contested decedent estate cases, adult guardianship, and conservatorship matters.
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