General Questions

•  What is a neutral?

A neutral is an individual, who as a result of experience and education facilitates the resolution of a dispute. The individual must be fair, impartial and have no interest in the outcome or decision

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•  What is ADR?

ADR means alternative dispute resolution process. ADR provides the ability to resolve a dispute without the necessity of going to court.
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•  How do I find a neutral?

You may search the VirtualCourthouse™ neutral database? You may also know of a neutral that you can ask to register with VirtualCourthouse™.

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•  How do I start the claims process?

You first must ask the other party if they would consider agreeing to an alternative (to the court) dispute resolving process. 

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•  What is ODR (Online Dispute Resolution)?

ODR is a simple, straightforward alternative to court, resulting in fast, convenient and less expensive resolutions to disputes.

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•  What is Arbitration?

"Arbitration" means a process in which (1) the parties appear before one or more impartial neutrals / arbitrators and present evidence and argument supporting their respective positions, and (2) the neutrals / arbitrators render a decision in the form of an award that is binding. The parties may agree that the decision is not binding.

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•  What is Mediation?

"Mediation" means a process in which the parties work wtih one or more impartial neutrals / mediators who, without providing legal advice, assist the parties in reaching their own voluntary agreement for the resolution of the dispute or issues in the dispute.

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•  What is a Settlement Conference?

Both parties meet with an impartial Neutral, who will facilitate discussions between both parties to help the opposing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The neutral will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and help the parties analyze the risks associated with a trial. Sometimes the neutral will offer an opinion regarding a likely verdict.

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•  What is a Neutral Case Evaluation?

"Neutral Case Evaluation" means a process in which the parties and their attorneys, present in summary fashion evidence and arguments supporting their respective positions, to a neutral. The neutral person renders an evaluation of their positions and an opinion as to the likely outcome of the dispute or issues in the dispute if the action tried before a jury.

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