Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a process for resolving disputes outsides the governmental judicial process. ADR has gained widespread acceptance among both the general public and the legal profession in recent years. In fact, some courts now require some parties to resort to ADR of some type, usually mediation, before permitting the parties' cases to be tried. The rising popularity of ADR can be explained by the increasing caseload of traditional courts, the perception that ADR imposes fewer costs than litigation, a preference for confidentiality, and the desire of some parties to have greater control over the selection of the individual or individuals who will decide their dispute.

Mediation is a process that brings together disputing parties in the presence of a trained, neutral third party to reach their own negotiated agreement. The mediator facilitates the discussion, but does not act as a judge or offer any opinion as to who may be right or wrong in a dispute. It is up to the people involved to decide what is an acceptable solution for them. During mediation, each person involved in the dispute explains the problem as he or she sees it, and presents ideas on how the matter can be resolved. The mediator works with both parties to defuse volatile emotions, communicate in a constructive way, examine facts and options, identify needs and possible trade-offs, and generate a written, legally binding agreement.

With the cost of litigation ever on the rise, Kane & Co. has been pro-active in seeking alternative methods for resolving disputes. Mr. Kane is a trained and certified facilitative mediator recognized by the Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Office (SCAO), the International Trademark Association (INTA), and the federal and state courts of Michigan. Mr. Kane also acts as a facilitative mediator on a pro bono basis for several not-for-profit organizations, including the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan.

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