Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo 2024
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2024
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Badge - Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

Alternative Dispute Resolution | Mediation | Arbitration

When confronted with a legal matter, people often turn to the courts to help settle their disputes. Litigation, however, may not always be your best option, as it can be a drawn-out and costly process. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may suggest alternative means for resolving your legal issues. Following is an explanation of these alternate options.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures provide opportunities for individuals to attempt to resolve their legal disputes without the need of proceeding with traditional litigation. ADR practices are becoming a more widely-accepted - and sometimes even encouraged - means of settling an array of legal issues ranging from family law matters to personal injury claims to contract disputes. These procedures, when applicable, offer a number of advantages. ADRs:

  • allow you to avoid delays caused by crowded court calendars;
  • save you time which, in turn, cuts down on expense and stress often associated with courtroom trials;
  • provide confidentiality since agreements reached through ADR proceedings are not public record.

Alternative Dispute Resolution employs various methods for resolving legal issues. Two of the most common are Arbitration and Mediation.


Arbitration is an informal hearing in which a panel consisting of one or three arbitrators hears statements from both sides of the dispute, after which the panel determines the terms and conditions of a resolution. With a one-member arbitration panel, all parties to the dispute must agree on the arbitrator; with a three-member panel, each side chooses an arbitrator. The two arbitrators together then select a third arbitrator to complete the panel.

Arbitration hearings generally last between a few days and a week, at the end of which time an agreement is reached. These agreements can be binding or non-binding. In a binding arbitration, the decision is final and cannot be reviewed or overturned by a court, with a few exceptions. In a non-binding arbitration, on the other hand, either side has the right to reject the arbitrator’s decision and proceed through the courts.


In this process, a mediator serves as a neutral party to help facilitate discussion and resolution of legal disputes. Mediators are trained negotiators and while most are also attorneys, they do not provide legal advice to either party involved in the mediation. If you choose to have legal representation present at your mediation, although it is not required, you must retain separate counsel.

Similar to arbitrations, mediations are informal procedures generally conducted in a relaxed setting. The parties involved in the mediation set the duration of the proceedings, generally one half-day or full-day session. The negotiations are confidential and non-binding; once a resolution is reached, however, parties on both sides of the issue sign an agreement making it a binding contract. Sometimes mediation can end in an impasse rather than a resolution to the dispute. In that case, the parties involved can pursue other methods of resolving their issue.

Kearns Rotolo Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution

If your attorney advises you to proceed with an Alternative Dispute Resolution, Kearns Rotolo Law can be of assistance. The attorneys of Kearns Rotolo Law are experienced in the areas of mediation and arbitration and are prepared to assist in the process recommended by your attorney. 

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian