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What Is ADR?

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

ADR or “Alternative Dispute Resolution” is a broad term developed in recent times to describe a collection of processes that in one form or another have been used for several thousand years. In today’s language, the two most common procedures are “Mediation” and “Arbitration”, although a number of other processes have been developed and given a formal name, such as “neutral expert analysis”. This system of neutral fact finding is then used by parties by themselves to minimize the formal litigation or to fashion a resolution. Often the systems are conjoined for example by having a mediation followed by the arbitration of a component of a more complex dispute. The principals of Definitive ADR are available to do pro bono mediation for worthy causes or write or speak to interested parties about this general topic. As well a series of links are available on this website here to provide a broader discussion of this large topic.

Although conventional litigation has significant benefits in the right circumstances, it can be time consuming, costly and very public. ADR in all its forms is always more timely, less costly and confidential. The degree of time and money saved using ADR varies with the process and the complexity of the dispute.



Neutral Expert Analysis


How Do Mediation Services Work?

Defintive ADR’s mediation services are offered to individuals, companies and institutions involved in disputes of various kinds.

The mediator will facilitate the communication process in a neutral setting and encourage the parties to explore and consider various options to resolve the dispute in a mutually acceptable manner.

Typically the mediation will involve some degree of compromise by all sides, but the extent of the compromise can vary greatly depending on the circumstances.





Who Conducts the Arbitration Process?

Defintive ADR’s arbitration services are provided by principal John Comrie KC, FCIArb, LLB, BCL who is trained in conducting arbitration in many different contexts, including Canadian and U.S. labour disputes, local or national domestic commercial disputes in Canada and the U.S., and international conflicts between or among parties with many different language, legal systems, technical and cultural backgrounds.

His experience includes participation in the mediation and arbitration of labour disputes and grievances, conventional domestic business disputes, personal injury claims, domestic issues, trade cases between nations and/or international companies and such matters as major construction claims arising out of international gas pipeline failures and steel mill construction claims in the U.S. and Canada involving many millions of dollars and parties from several countries.





We Bridge Large and Small Disputes.

Photo: Audrey A. Jackson @

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