Frequently Asked Questions - ADR Systems

ADR Systems

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about ADR Systems for your convenience. If you have other questions, contact ADR Systems at 312.960.2260 or info@adrsystems.com.

Questions about Remote Dispute Resolution

Does ADR Systems offer remote dispute resolution services in lieu of in-person mediations and arbitrations?

While we recommend that mediations and arbitrations be conducted in person whenever possible, we do offer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services via teleconference and proven videoconferencing software providers like Zoom, CourtCall and Skype. Contact your case manager for additional information.

What precautions does ADR Systems take to ensure remote mediations and arbitrations on Zoom are secure and private?

Parties in a mediation or arbitration via a Zoom videoconference will wait in a waiting room until admitted to the videoconference by the neutral who hosts the videoconference. While Zoom account holders can forgo this feature, ADR Systems’ videoconferences will always utilize it to prevent unwanted persons from accessing one of our Zoom videoconferences.

ADR Systems also only allows the host of a Zoom videoconference to share their screen with the videoconference’s participants. None of the participants in the videoconference can use this function without the permission of the host, preventing parties from being exposed to content not permitted by the host.

Many compromised videoconferences reported in the news have been public videoconferences (with the link shared on social media), not private ones. Our Zoom videoconferences are not public and never have been. Only the parties, the host and ADR Systems’ staff have access to the meeting link.

Additionally, Zoom updated its platform in early April 2020 with a new security icon on its toolbar, accessible only to the host of a Zoom videoconference. This allows the host to regulate and maintain the waiting room and screen sharing features for all of the videoconference’s participants, and it allows the host to lock the meeting and remove participants if necessary. Contact your case manager for additional information about remote mediations and arbitrations.

Which videoconferencing tool is right for my case?

Each of the remote options we offer have helped our clients settle their disputes. Your case manager will assist you in selecting the best option for your case.  You will not be charged any addition fee when choosing to do your mediation or arbitration remotely.

Zoom is the most commonly used remote option among our clients. It is an online videoconferencing tool with a highly intuitive interface compatible with most internet browsers, and attorneys can download the Zoom application onto their laptop, tablet or smart phone in a matter of minutes. No training or prior experience with Zoom is needed for an attorney to participate in a remote mediation or arbitration. An ADR Systems’ staff member will generate a private link for your session and will share it with the attorneys on the case via email. The attorneys can then share the link with their clients if they wish.

When Zoom usage proliferated at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, news outlets reported instances of “Zoom-bombing” whereby uninvited participants invaded Zoom videoconferences and displayed offensive content. Zoom has since enhanced its security measures, and ADR Systems has optimized its accounts’ security settings to protect the privacy of our clients. Read more about this here.

CourtCall is a browser-based videoconferencing tool designed specifically for attorneys which they can access for their remote session through email links sent to them and their clients by a CourtCall representative that works closely with ADR Systems. Due to intermittent compatibility issues, ADR Systems offers clients the opportunity to test their computer’s audio/visual compatibility with CourtCall so that accessing the videoconference is seamless at the time of the session. A moderator from CourtCall will be available to troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise during the session.

Both remote videoconferencing options provide private breakout rooms, which parties can caucus in, just as they would during in-person sessions.

While videoconferencing is popular, some parties choose a telephonic remote option.  Our neutrals also have had success in resolving matters by phone.

How should I prepare for a remote session with ADR Systems?

Little about the mediation or arbitration process changes when a session is conducted via remote options instead of in person; our case managers, administrative staff and neutrals work with you and your client in much the same way. That being said, attorneys should follow a short checklist to confirm they and their clients are ready for a remote mediation or arbitration. Click here to review our article, Are You Remote Ready?

What do I do if I cannot hear or see anyone once I’m on the videoconference?

If parties experience audio/visual issues when they access an ADR Systems Zoom videoconference, their neutral or an ADR Systems’ staff person will be on hand to help them troubleshoot the issue. Likewise, if parties experience audio/visual issues when they access CourtCall, even after a pre-test, a moderator from CourtCall will be on hand to help them.

General Questions

Why is ADR Systems different from other providers?

ADR Systems has a growing panel of successful neutrals — highly skilled senior mediators and arbitrators. They settle about 91% of mediated cases and preside over efficient arbitrations.

Unlike some other dispute resolution providers, our neutrals are not employees and have no financial or managerial stake in the company. This ensures their neutrality.

Personal attention is the hallmark of ADR Systems. Our neutrals, case managers and staff are with you through every step of the dispute resolution process and provide unparalleled service.

What is the Tax ID Number for ADR Systems?

ADR Systems’ Tax ID Number is 36-3977108.

How do I pay my bill?

Our clients can pay their bills through a variety of methods.

You can mail a check payable to ADR Systems at 20 North Clark Street, Floor 29, Chicago, IL 60602.

You can pay your bill via a credit card. VISA, Mastercard, Discover and American Express are accepted with a 3.0% processing fee. You can pay with credit card at adrsystems.com/payment.

You can pay your bill via Zelle using this email address: adrsystems20@gmail.com.

You can begin the process of paying your bill via wire transfer by emailing ADR Systems at payments@adrsystems.com for instructions.

What is the cost of a mediation or arbitration?

Contact your case manager.

What are your technical capabilities?

In addition to secure videoconferencing capabilities provided through Zoom, CourtCall, and Skype, we provide WI-FI, wireless printing and have large screen projection capabilities.

Does an attorney need to attend a mediation or arbitration?

It depends on the case. Contact your case manager.

Do I need to have an agreement with the other side to use ADR Systems before submitting my case?

We can assist with bringing the parties to the table. Our case managers are here to help you even before a session is scheduled. Often parties will discuss their case with a case manager who can suggest the most qualified neutrals to handle the case, suggest possible dispute resolution processes and will even contact the other side — if requested — to propose dispute resolution at ADR Systems and answer their questions.

Do you have parking and other transportation information?

We have assembled the information you need, and it can be found by clicking here.

Are neutrals willing to travel?

Yes, our neutrals have traveled throughout the United States to conduct mediations.

Where can I have my mediation or arbitration session if I do not want to go into Chicago?

In addition to our Chicago office, ADR Systems has an office in Northbrook, has ready access to facilities in the western suburbs and can provide alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services via proven videoconferencing software providers like Zoom, CourtCall and Skype. We will work with both sides to ensure a mutually agreeable location or modality for your session. Contact your case manager for additional information.

Personal Injury

How do I submit a case for mediation?

You can submit your case through our website. A case manager will contact you within 24 hours. You may also contact ADR Systems at 312.960.2260 and speak to a case manager.

When can we mediate a personal injury matter?

Mediation is always an option. It can take place before a suit is filed, during the course of litigation or to address disputes that arise after resolution of the matter.

Can I interview potential mediators or arbitrators?

Yes, contact your case manager for assistance.

Who should attend a mediation?

In most cases, the parties, their counsel, an insurance representative — if it involves an insurance issue — and someone with authority to settle the case.

Should I share my submission with the other side?

Many mediators encourage some form of submission exchange between the parties. Often parties will share some of their submission with the other side and the remaining sections they will keep confidential – “For the Mediator’s Eyes Only.”

Can I speak directly with my mediator?

Ex parte communication with your mediator is allowed at any time.

If you would like to speak to your mediator before or after your session, call your case manager.

Do mediators want joint opening statements?

Your mediator will work with both sides to decide whether there will be opening statements, which is often handled on pre-mediation calls with the mediator. For more information regarding whether to do opening statements, read the article titled “Opening Comments: A Key Strategic Decision In Mediation.”

Can an arbitration be non-binding?

Before an arbitration, parties must agree that the arbitration will be either binding or non-binding.

Most arbitrations are binding: the parties agree that after they present their case to the arbitrator, the arbitrator will decide their case and render an award. The arbitrators decision will be final and binding on all parties to the arbitration.

Some arbitrations are non-binding: the parties agree that the arbitrator will not impose a decision and the parties may ask the arbitrator to make recommendations as to what the outcome might be.  Insight gained in a non-binding arbitration may help parties settle their case sooner rather than later.

How do I file a demand for arbitration?

For a personal injury case, call a case manager.

Can I choose the rules to use for a personal injury arbitration?

The rules that govern personal injury arbitration at ADR Systems are contained in the parties’ agreement to arbitrate. Click here for a sample arbitration agreement.

Who should attend an arbitration?

The parties, their counsel, and if appropriate, witnesses and experts should attend the arbitration.

Can a narrative be submitted as evidence in an arbitration?

Narratives or statements of position are not admissible unless agreed to by the parties.

Does ADR Systems have specific rules for Health Care arbitrations?

Yes, click here to request a copy of the Health Care Arbitration Rules for personal injury cases.

How do I file a demand for arbitration if I am using the Health Care Arbitration Rules?

For a personal injury case, the demand form and instructions are available from your case manager.

For arbitrations, how do I send a motion or objection?

Contact your case manager to receive instructions.

Are arbitrators allowed to issue subpoenas?

Arbitrators or anyone authorized by law may issue subpoenas. Parties are responsible for the drafting of the subpoena, service and enforcement. To see a template for a subpoena to use in an arbitration, click here.

What is a tri-panel arbitration and how are the arbitrators appointed?

Tri-panel arbitrations consist of three arbitrators, rather than one. Usually, each side appoints one arbitrator and a neutral arbitrator is selected for the third arbitrator. In personal injury cases, arbitrators from ADR Systems can only serve as the neutral arbitrator. Arbitrators from ADR Systems cannot serve as party arbitrators.

In a tri-panel arbitration, who is responsible for sending the pre-hearing briefs to the arbitrators?

Parties must follow the procedural rules. Parties should send submissions for the arbitrator to their case manager who will forward them to the neutral arbitrator.

Commercial

How do I submit a case for mediation?

You can submit your case through our website adrsystems.com  and you will be contacted within 24 hours by a case manager. You may also contact ADR Systems at 312.960.2260 and speak to a case manager.

When can we mediate a commercial matter?

Mediation is always an option. It can take place before a suit is filed, during the course of litigation or to address disputes that arise after resolution of the matter.

Can I interview a potential mediator or arbitrator?

Yes, contact your case manager for assistance.

Who should attend a mediation?

In most cases, the parties, their counsel, an insurance representative — if it involves an insurance issue — and someone with authority to settle the case.

Will there be a pre-mediation conference call with the mediator and the other side?

In commercial cases, you will have a pre-mediation conference call with the mediator and the other side.

What will be discussed in a pre-mediation conference call?

During a pre-mediation conference call, the following will likely be discussed: the nature of the dispute and the status of any pending litigation; the names of those who will be attending the mediation on both sides; whether a joint opening session would be productive; and the content of the pre-mediation submissions and whether they will be exchanged.

What should I include in my mediation submission?

Your mediator may give you specific instructions regarding the content or length of your submission. To find a checklist of what to include in a submission, read the article titled “Writing an Effective Mediation Submission.”

Should I share my submission with the other side?

Many mediators encourage some form of submission exchange between the parties. Often parties will share some of their submission with the other side and the remaining sections they will keep confidential – “For the Mediator’s Eyes Only.”

Can I speak directly with my mediator?

Ex parte communication with your mediator is allowed at any time. If you would like to speak to your mediator before or after your session, call your case manager.

How do I file a demand for arbitration?

For a commercial case, the demand form and instructions are available on the website by clicking here, or you may call a case manager.

Can I choose the rules to use for a commercial arbitration?

Parties in a commercial case may agree to use our Commercial Arbitration Rules. Parties may also agree to use arbitration rules from another provider and ADR Systems can still administer the arbitration. Parties can agree to customize the arbitration rules and work through this process with their case manager.

Do you have a fast track commercial arbitration option?

For a commercial case, arbitrations can be accelerated and completed in 60 days. View our Accelerated Commercial Arbitration Rules.

Who should attend an arbitration?

The parties, their counsel, and if appropriate, witnesses and experts should attend the arbitration.

Can an arbitration be non-binding?

Before an arbitration, parties must agree that the arbitration will be either binding or non-binding. Most arbitrations are binding:  the parties agree that after they present their case to the arbitrator, the arbitrator will decide their case and render an award. The arbitrators decision will be final and binding on all parties to the arbitration.

Some arbitrations are non-binding: the parties agree that the arbitrator will not impose a decision and the parties may ask the arbitrator to make recommendations as to what the outcome might be.  Insight gained in a non-binding arbitration may help parties settle their case sooner rather than later.

For arbitrations, how do I send a motion or objection?

Contact your case manager to receive instructions.

Are arbitrators allowed to issue subpoenas?

Arbitrators or anyone authorized by law may issue subpoenas. Parties are responsible for the drafting of the subpoena, service and enforcement. To see a template for a subpoena to use in an arbitration, click here.

Can a narrative be submitted as evidence in an arbitration?

Narratives or statements of position are not admissible unless agreed to by the parties.

How is an arbitrator appointed in a commercial case?

The parties may agree on an arbitrator. If the parties cannot agree, ADR Systems will appoint an arbitrator following the procedure in the arbitration rules which have been agreed to by the parties.

What will be discussed in a pre-arbitration conference call in a commercial case?

During the pre-mediation conference call, the following considerations will likely be discussed: when claims, counter claims, responses and statements of uncontested facts are due; when and where the hearing will take place; timing and parameters regarding discovery, witnesses and experts; how expert and other testimony will be presented; the timing of pre-hearing briefs; allocations of attorney fees and costs; the form of the award; and other items.

Family Law

How do I submit a case for mediation?

You can submit your case through our website adrsystems.com. A case manager will contact you within 24 hours. You may also contact ADR Systems at 312.960.2260 and speak to a case manager.

When can we mediate a family law matter?

Mediation is always an option. It can take place before a petition is filed, during the course of litigation or to address post-decree disputes.

Can I interview potential mediators or arbitrators?

Yes, contact your case manager for assistance.

How long does a family law mediation take?

Time frames vary. Contact your case manager for assistance.

Will there be a pre-mediation conference call with the mediator and the other side?

In family law cases, you will have a pre-mediation conference call with the mediator and the other side.

What will be discussed in a pre-mediation conference call?

During the pre-mediation conference call, the following considerations will likely be discussed: the nature of the dispute and the status of any pending litigation; the names of those who will be attending the mediation from both sides; whether a joint opening session would be productive; and the content of the pre-mediation submissions and whether they will be exchanged.

Can I speak directly with my mediator?

Ex parte communication with your mediator is allowed at any time. If you would like to speak to your mediator before or after your session, call your case manager.

What do I need to bring or send to the mediator??

Contact your case manager for assistance.

What is the Family Law Fast Track Mediation Program?

Parties can quickly mediate pressing issues for a reasonable flat fee. For more information, click here.

Can I use arbitration in a family law matter?

Yes, contact your case manager for assistance.

Can an arbitration be non-binding?

Before an arbitration, parties must agree that the arbitration will be either binding or non-binding.

Most arbitrations are binding: the parties agree that after they present their case to the arbitrator, the arbitrator will decide their case and render an award. The arbitrators decision will be final and binding on all parties to the arbitration.

Some arbitrations are non-binding: the parties agree that the arbitrator will not impose a decision and the parties may ask the arbitrator to make recommendations as to what the outcome might be.  Insight gained in a non-binding arbitration may help parties settle their case sooner rather than later.

For arbitrations, how do I send a motion or objection?

Contact your case manager to receive instructions.

Are arbitrators allowed to issue subpoenas?

Arbitrators or anyone authorized by law may issue subpoenas. Parties are responsible for the drafting of the subpoena, service and enforcement. To see a template for a subpoena to use in an arbitration, click here.

Our mediation using videoconferencing was convenient and effective – we settled! Judge Casciato gained the party's trust and confidence while deftly guiding us through the negotiation process via a videoconference.  With the use of virtual breakout rooms, Judge Casciato was able to spend private time with everyone.  This remote mediation worked well for us and I would not hesitate to use it again.  

Carl Salvato, PartnerSalvato, O'Toole & Froylan
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