California Alternative Dispute Resolution Forms

If you file a civil lawsuit, you must include the appropriate ADR Information Packet with the complaint when serving the defendant. Cross complainants must also serve the ADR Information Packet on any new parties named to the action.

What Are The Advantages Of Using ADR?

  • Faster Litigation can take years to complete but ADR usually takes weeks or months
  • Cheaper Parties can save on attorneys fees and litigation costs
  • More control and flexibility Parties choose the ADR process appropriate for their case
  • Cooperative and less stressful In mediation, parties cooperate to find a mutually agreeable resolution
  • Preserve relationships A mediator can help you effectively communicate your interests and point of view to the other side. This is an important benefit when you want to preserve a relationship.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Using ADR?

  • You may go to court anyway If you cannot resolve your dispute using ADR, you may still have to spend time and money resolving your lawsuit through the courts.

What ADR Options Are Available?

  • Mediation A neutral person (mediator) helps the parties communicate, clarify facts, identify legal issues, explore settlement options, and agree on a solution that is acceptable to all sides.
    • Court Mediation Program: Mediators do not charge fees for the first two hours of mediation. If parties need more time, they must pay the mediators regular fees. Some mediators ask for a deposit before mediation starts which is subject to a refund for unused time.
    • Private Mediation: This is mediation where the parties pay the mediators regular fees and may choose a mediator outside the courts panel.
  • Arbitration A neutral person (arbitrator) hears arguments and evidence from each side and then decides the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is less formal than a trial and the rules of evidence are often relaxed. Arbitration is effective when the parties want someone other than themselves to decide the outcome.
    • Judicial Arbitration Program (non-binding): The judge can refer a case or the parties can agree to use judicial arbitration. The parties select an arbitrator from a list provided by the court. If the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator, one will be assigned by the court. There is no fee for the arbitrator. The arbitrator must send the decision (award of the arbitrator) to the court. The parties have the right to reject the award and proceed to trial.
    • Private Arbitration (binding and non-binding) occurs when parties involved in a dispute either agree or are contractually obligated. This option takes place outside of the courts and is normally binding meaning the arbitrators decision is final.

Locate the appropriate ADR form for your county below. Right click and select “save as” to download a copy to your computer or mobile device.

Alameda Superior Court

Amador Superior Court

Butte Superior Court

Calaveras Superior Court

Contra Costa Superior Court – Limited Case

Contra Costa Superior Court – Unlimited Case

El Dorado Superior Court

Fresno Superior Court

Humboldt Superior Court

Imperial Superior Court

Inyo Superior Court

Kern Superior Court

Lassen Superior Court

Los Angeles Superior Court

Marin Superior Court

Mariposa Superior Court

Mendocino Superior Court

Merced Superior Court

Mono Superior Court

Monterey Superior Court

Napa Superior Court

Nevada Superior Court

Orange Superior Court

Riverside Superior Court

Sacramento Superior Court

San Bernadino Superior Court

San Diego Superior Court

San Francisco Superior Court

San Joaquin Superior Court

San Luis Obispo Superior Court

San Mateo Superior Court

Santa Barbara Superior Court

Santa Clara Superior Court

Shasta Superior Court

Siskiyou Superior Court

Solano Superior Court

Stanislaus Superior Court

Tehama Superior Court

Tulare Superior Court

Tuolomne Superior Court

Ventura Superior Court

Yolo Superior Court

Yuba Superior Court

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