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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.
  • Trial counsel for plaintiff SMD Software in a case involving allegation of libel and false advertising in violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  After a jury trial in federal court, the jury awarded SMD $1.7 million in damages. SMD Software Inc. et al., v. EMove Inc. et al., 5:08-cv-00403 (EDNC)
  • Represented a U.S. affiliate of a European company and its officers in a “corporate raiding” styled case, involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and alleged violations of North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act ("UDTPA"), in the North Carolina Business Court that, after substantial motion practice, was resolved amicably. 
  • Represented plaintiffs in an unfair competition and trade secret case in the North Carolina Business Court involving claims that the defendants had attempted to create an electronic database of construction projects to compete unfairly with the plaintiffs through the misappropriation of plaintiff’s intellectual property, resulting in the entry of preliminary and permanent injunctive relief.
  • Representing the plaintiff in a corporate raiding case in the North Carolina Business Court in a lawsuit alleging claims of unfair and deceptive trade practices, misappropriation of confidential information and tortious interference with business relations arising out of an alleged raid of plaintiff’s business for its employee base, customers and confidential information from its multiple locations. 
  • Represented a global manufacturer in a consummated merger trial before the Federal Trade Commission and on appeal to the full commission.
  • Represented clients in connection with grand jury subpoenas issued in connection with its ongoing investigation of the automotive parts industry and in connection with private litigation in multi-district matters in the polyurethane foam market and other proceedings.
  • Represented a national company in a RICO action brought against it in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina and obtained a denial from the court of a motion to seize assets in the action, which was subsequently settled.
  • Obtained a dismissal of a RICO action against another national company in a case before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction in a RICO action brought in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina preventing a former employee and his confederates from utilizing a company’s proprietary trading algorithms.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to prevent a software company from implementing a “time bomb” code embedded in a software program provided to a customer which would have disabled that software and shut down the customer’s business if implemented.

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