Superior Court >Alternative Dispute Resolution

General Information Referral Method Cases are generally referred to an ADR procedure by the Superior Court Judge presiding over the case. Under the newly amended Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 16 (g)(1), the Court may direct parties in any action to submit their dispute to a court authorized ADR program. Rule 16 (g)(2) states that parties to disputes have a duty to consider ADR, confer with one another about using an ADR process, and report the outcome of their conference to the court. Parties may request that a Judge refer their case to ADR at any time. ADR forms are available in the Self-Service Center, and parties may contact the ADR office for additional information. For the complete version of Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, click here: ARCP Rule 16(g) Benefits of ADR There are benefits to using ADR as an alternative to litigation. These include, but are not limited to the following:
  • ADR can save participants time and money. It allows the courts to wisely conserve trial resources for those cases where there is truly a need for litigation.
  • Often, parties are able to preserve their relationships after ADR; in trial there is a winner and a loser.
  • ADR provides more open, flexible, and responsive processes that are tailored to the unique needs of the parties.
  • ADR outcomes address the real needs of each party in an informal process that offers customized solutions and enhances community involvement in dispute resolution.
  • Using ADR instead of litigation often results in greater participant satisfaction.
Preliminary Considerations Despite its many benefits, ADR may not be appropriate in all cases. As a general matter, the following situations should be seriously considered before using ADR as an alternative to litigation:
  • Where one party uses intimidation or refuses to share information
  • Where a party is too afraid to negotiate assertively
  • Where a party wants to continue to litigate
  • Where a party wants to establish a judicial precedent
  • Where there is recent or continuing domestic abuse or violence involving the parties
  • Where one or both parties are not mentally competent to understand the issues and negotiate assertively
  • When one or both parties are impaired by alcohol or substance abuse and cannot effectively negotiate
  • When the disposition of the participating attorneys is one of hostility and/ or incompatibility