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Alternative Dispute Resolution


Most civil disputes are resolved without filing a lawsuit, and most civil lawsuits are resolved without a trial. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe various processes in which a neutral person helps people resolve their case without a trial.

ADR is designed to take place as early as possible in the life of a case, to provide an opportunity to settle all or part of the case and keep litigation expense to a minimum. ADR is typically faster, cheaper, and less stressful than going to court. ADR also lets people resolve their disputes in a more private environment.

Parties in a civil case can use a mediator, arbitrator, or settlement conference neutral for assistance in resolving a case. Click on the ADR Information Package for more information about our various ADR options.

Settlement Program

In October 2023, Presiding Judge Anne-Christine Massullo announced a revised settlement program at the San Francisco Superior Court. The  revised program puts the burden on parties to let the court know when they are prepared for a meaningful settlement conference. To schedule a settlement conference, all counsel and parties MUST jointly email the ADR Coordinator at adrcoordinator@sftc.orgThe ADR Coordinator will assign the parties to an available judge or a volunteer settlement conference officer and the court will provide notice of the settlement date.

ADR Information

This comprehensive guide to Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) provides information and resources to learn all about mediation and settling cases out of Court.

Notice: The Judicial Mediation Program has been suspended for the time being

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