Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a broad term meant to describe methods of dispute resolution that serve as alternatives to litigation. The general forms of ADR are negotiation, mediation, neutral evaluation, and arbitration. There are also hybrid forms that have evolved as combinations of these types of ADR.
ADR typically provides a number of advantages over litigation. ADR methods are usually quicker, cheaper, and provides the parties with the power and flexibility to craft solutions that are better fits for the problem. A good discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of those methods can be found here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/3074.htm