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4.6 Concluding Thoughts

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a popular and common group of methods to resolve disputes in many different contexts. In business, ADR is commonly used in business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), and business to employee (B2E) disputes. Several methods of ADR exist. The most commonly employed methods include negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Under federal law, national policy favors arbitration. Sometimes ADR is perceived as unfair, because parties have unequal power relative to each other or because the subject matter of the dispute is not considered suitable for ADR. Like other areas of law and public policy, ADR is dynamic and subject to change, particularly when special interest groups coalesce successfully and create momentum for change within our legal system. Currently, there is a nascent movement to exclude certain types of disputes from ADR by amending the federal law that requires mandatory arbitration when parties have contractually consented to it.