Depending on the type ADR used, a variety of goals may be realized. A dispute may be narrowed, resolved partially, or settled completely; a relationship may be repaired with the parties learning how to communicate more effectively; and/or an innovative solution that may not have been available through litigation may be utilized. The parties might address and reach agreement on how they will move forward in the future so that future potential controversies are more effectively processed. Such outcomes, often not available through more traditional litigation, are part of the beauty of using ADR in the procurement arena.
The parties should typically come to an ADR proceeding prepared to address the dispute with good faith discussions. They should also have a draft settlement agreement prepared and ready to be jointly finalized and executed at the conclusion of the proceeding. If no agreement is reached, the parties normally go back into the disputes process where they left off and the neutral judge typically withdraws and removes or recuses himself or herself from any further activity with the case, unless the parties request that the judge remain on the case. The case goes back into the litigation process before the presiding judge, or another judge is assigned to decide the appeal if the presiding judge conducted the ADR proceeding. This way, any concessions made for settlement purposes during the ADR remain private from the judge deciding the case.