The Massachusetts Trial Court offers court-connected ADR as an alternative to litigation in every Trial Court Department. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a generic term used to describe certain processes in which an impartial third person assists parties in settling a case without the need for trial.

Court-Connected ADR is governed by the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution, Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:18, which took effect in 1999 and are designed to offer litigants more options in resolving disputes. There are seven ADR processes defined in the Uniform Rules.  The best known and most used ADR process is mediation.

Within the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the Coordinator of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services provides technical assistance, advice and consultation to the Trial Court Departments in the operation of court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services and provides professional staff assistance to the Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution. The Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution advises the Chief Justice of the Trial Court on the implementation and oversight of court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution Services.

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