May. 5, 2021


The Yolo County Superior Court currently offers Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") for all applicable civil cases. At the civil case management conference (CMC) election of an ADR process is discussed and encouraged. The court's goal is to make civil litigation more effective by reducing the delay in bringing difficult cases to trial, more efficient by reducing the cost to the public and the litigants, and to be more responsive to everyone's desire to resolve disputes early and fully.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the general term applied to a wide variety of dispute resolution processes which are alternatives to lawsuits. Types of ADR processes include arbitration, mediation, neutral evaluation, mini-trials, settlement conferences, private judging, negotiation, and hybrids of these processes. All ADR processes offer a partial or complete alternative to traditional court litigation for resolving disputes.

Arbitration and Mediation

1. Arbitration. An arbitrator hears evidence presented by the parties, makes legal rulings, determines facts and makes an arbitration award. Arbitration awards may be entered as judgments in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, where there is no agreement, in accordance withCalifornia statutes. Arbitrations can be binding or non-binding, as agreed by the parties in writing.

2. Mediation. Mediation is a voluntary, informal, confidential process in which the mediator, a neutral third party, facilitates settlement negotiations. The mediator improves communication by and among the parties, helps parties clarify facts, identify legal issues, explore options and arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute.

3. Judicial Arbitration. Some cases will be ordered to Judicial Arbitration if they come within the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 1141.11 and California Rules of Court, 3.811 and 3.812 and Local Rule 13. 

Litigants are encouraged to use an ADR process as early in the case as circumstances permit. All appropriate cases will be reviewed for referral to ADR at the Case Management Conference.

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