Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Courts

The NYS Unified Court System is committed to promoting the appropriate use of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to resolve disputes and conflicts peacefully.

 About ADR

Learn about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and how it is used in the courts. 

 Involved in a Conflict?

Learn about your ADR options if you are involved in a conflict or dispute, even if your case isn't in court.

 Community Dispute Resolution Centers

Learn about the free and low-cost services provided by Community Dispute Resolution Centers.

 Mediator Directory

Find mediators approved to mediate for a trial court in New York State.

 News and Updates

May 2022: In furtherance of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks’ goal of addressing bias in the court system, Judge Marks signed Administrative Order 124/22, effective January 1, 2023, requiring all ADR neutrals who serve the court system (mediators and neutral evaluators serving on court rosters under Part 146, arbitrators and special masters who serve in court-sponsored programs, and neutrals who provide services as a part of the Community Dispute Resolution Center Program) to complete at least two (2) hours of anti-bias training every two years.

May 2022: Under Administrative Order 119a/22, effective January 1, 2023, all Family Court and Matrimonial Part mediators will be required to take 4 hours of training on Screening for Intimate partner Violence (IPV) and 2 hours of continuing education on IPV every 2 years. This Order extends and codifies current statewide practice, which seeks to ensure the safety of litigants who may be victims of IPV. 

March 2021: In her State of Our Judiciary Address, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said, “the continued expansion of ADR has been one of the bright spots in our work to keep the courts functioning well.” (see pages 7-8)

February 2021: Effective Feb. 1, 2021, “Counsel for all parties shall consult prior to a preliminary or compliance conference about...(iii) the use of alternate dispute resolution to resolve all or some issues in the litigation.” Section 202.11 of the Uniform Civil Rules For The Supreme Court & The County Court

January 2021Press release announces NYC Civil Court in Manhattan to Launch Online Dispute Resolution Pilot Program for Small Claims Cases.

November 2020: New guidelines developed for Mediation Apprenticeships for prospective mediators, guidance on Continuing Education for mediators and neutral evaluators on trial court rosters.

September 2020: The court announces three online tools developed by the Office of ADR: the Statewide Mediator Directory, which supports litigants in locating a court-approved mediator, the Statewide Mediator Application, which streamlines the process by which mediators may be considered for a trial court roster, and the Post-Mediation Survey, which allows mediation participants to easily provide feedback in an online form.

May 2020:  Under Administrative Order 87/20, effective May 4, 2020, “Judges may refer matters for virtual alternative dispute resolution, including to neutrals on court-established panels, community dispute resolution centers, and ADR-dedicated court staff”

May 2019: Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announces the Presumptive ADR Program, a statewide initiative in which the majority of civil cases would be referred to ADR processes for the opportunity to resolve matters early and efficiently. The announcement also includes the Interim Report and Recommendations of the Statewide ADR Advisory Committee

April 2018: Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks announce the formation of an Advisory Committee on ADR to examine current services and make recommendations for the improvement and expansion of ADR.