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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


Parker Poe attorneys are committed to helping clients achieve a prompt, efficient resolution to even the most complex and challenging disputes.


We regularly advise clients on structuring the best dispute resolution method for their businesses, ranging from consumer contracts to complicated acquisitions, procurement and other contracts. We have negotiated and crafted agreements on the use of alternative dispute methods even after disputes have arisen. In this regard, we have also crafted special dispute resolution rules and handled arbitrations without using private dispute resolution agencies.

Traditional Methods of ADR

We have extensive experience with the alternative dispute resolution techniques of arbitration, mediation and summary jury trials. Many of our lawyers served on the task forces and committees charged with developing these methods for use in North Carolina and were involved in writing the rules applicable to these techniques. We were the first firm to participate in a summary jury trial in court in North Carolina.

  • Mediation – Mediation is used frequently in state and federal courts. We have appeared in hundreds of mediations on behalf of clients and are able to draw on the insight of our attorneys who are themselves trained and experienced mediators.
  • Arbitration – We have represented domestic and international businesses in arbitrations of cases in widely diverse areas, including construction, employment, accounting malpractice, securities, reinsurance, contract, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and regulated industry issues, such as health care, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. Our attorneys regularly appear before arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, JAMS, International Chamber of Commerce, National Arbitration Forum and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR).
  • Summary Jury Trials or Private Juries – In special cases, our attorneys have used private juries and summary jury trials to resolve complex disputes and avoid lengthy public trials. We represented the plaintiff in the first summary jury trial conducted in North Carolina. This three-day proceeding led to the resolution of a case, which was expected to take four to six weeks to try to conclusion.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a major accounting and auditing firm in the defense of a case initially filed by the plaintiff in federal district court. The plaintiff contended that a negligent audit had caused its bankruptcy, and sought $40 million in damages. After the presentation of testimony and subsequent post-hearing briefing, the panel decided the case in favor of our client and declined to award any damages. The plaintiff took no appeal.
  • Represented client in arbitration of dispute over $100 million coal contract. Settled on eve of arbitration.
  • Represented a large contractor (joint venture of a general contractor and a power company) in a multiple week arbitration involving delay and acceleration claims in construction of a power plant. The subcontractor's multimillion-dollar claim was rejected, and the contractor recovered its counterclaim. The arbitration involved numerous technical questions, seven experts testifying about technical and scheduling disputes and many legal issues, including issues concerning applicable law, enforcement of contract provisions, propriety of arbitration subpoenas and application of accounting principles.
  • Represented corporate client in a consumer arbitration in which consumer sought actual, punitive and treble damages for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practice claims. The arbitrator found for the corporate client and awarded the consumer nothing.
  • Represented the licensor of a system for renovating sewage pipes in an arbitration proceeding in which the petitioner/licensee sought to recover $1 million in damages for the alleged wrongful termination of its license, interference with contract and other tortious conduct. The parties conducted extensive discovery and each side designated expert witnesses. Following discovery, a two-week arbitration was conducted in California before an experienced trial attorney pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. We successfully defended the respondent/licensor against all of the petitioner's claims, and the arbitrator declined to award any damages to the petitioner.
  • Represented a European-based company with numerous U.S. operations in a dispute arising from a patent licensing agreement with a patent holder which was also a competitor of our client. The product at issue was used in the semiconductor industry. The matter involved "make but not have made" issues, as well as questions concerning field of use, and was settled. We also represented a smaller company that manufactures and installs sewage pipe liner in a two-week arbitration of trade secret and related claims, and obtained an arbitration decision in favor of our client.

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