Alternative Dispute Resolution

flowersWhile LGK lawyers have over 75 years of combined courtroom experience, they also know that more often than not, the best resolution comes from talking through differences in a conference room rather than before a judge or jury in a courtroom. Our attorneys practice alternative dispute resolution (ADR). They have specialized mediation, evaluation and arbitration training. We are routinely appointed by judges or parties to assist with resolving disputes, in civil arbitration and in the areas of marital dissolutions and child custody cases.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) include several processes designed to help people resolve legal problems without needing a judge to decide the issue. ADR involves an independent, impartial third person, called a "neutral", who tries to help resolve or narrow the areas of conflict. The use of ADR early in a court case can result in more efficient, cost-effective resolution of disputes with greater satisfaction to the parties. Most civil cases, including family law cases, filed in Minnesota courts are settled by using ADR. Minnesota courts recognize the effectiveness of ADR as a tool for settling disputes; most parties are required to use ADR to help resolve the dispute.

In family court, ADR can be a facilitative process, an adjudicative process or an evaluative process. A facilitative process is mediation, where the mediator help the parties compromise and make their own decision. An adjudicative process is like a court hearing, binding or nonbinding; the neutral role may be an Arbitrator, a Parenting Consultant or Parenting Time Expeditor. An evaluative process has the neutral gather information and give an opinion or recommendation.

A "neutral" is a person who provides an ADR process. A "qualified neutral" is a person who is included on the State Court Administrator's roster. To be on that list, the person must have completed training and continuing education requirements. All qualified neutrals must have a minimum of 30 hours of training. Three LGK attorneys routinely work as neutrals. Barbara Lutter and Katie Trotzky are qualified Rule 114 neutrals. Suzanne Kvas is a member of the panel of arbitrators with the American Arbitration Association.

All qualified neutrals serving in family law must have additional training. To be a neutral for family law mediation the neutral must have had 40 hours of training, including the psychological issues related to separation and divorce, family dynamics, needs of children, family law including custody and visitation, support, asset distribution and evaluation, and taxation as it relates to divorce; economics and domestic abuse. To be a neutral for family law evaluative process, the neutral must have specialized training. After the neutral completes training, she can be listed on the "Rule 114 Roster." Rule 114 neutrals are also required to keep up their skills through required education.

We have alternative dispute resolution experience in the area of civil and family law and provide the following services:

Civil Arbitration: Suzanne is a member of the panel of arbitrators with the American Arbitration Association and is routinely selected by parties to act as their arbitrator. She has many years of experience as a civil arbitrator.

Mediation: Katie and Barbara are qualified neutrals in civil and family law mediation.

Custody/Parenting Time Evaluations, and Early Neutral Evaluations (SENE and FENE): Katie and Barbara are qualified neutrals for family law evaluative processes and have completed the training for Early Neutral Evaluations, both social and financial. Barbara is on the ENE roster for the First, Second and Tenth Judicial Districts which include the counties of Ramsey, Dakota, Scott, Carver and Washington.

Parenting Time Expeditor And Parenting Consultant: Katie and Barbara are qualified family law neutrals to be Parenting Time Expeditors and Parenting Consultants. Over the years, they have served in this capacity for many families and have been appointed to many cases by the court. They have the necessary training and experience to help families find creative solutions to their family law issues.

To learn more about our services, please call 651-452-6693 or send us an email.