When a case goes to trial, the courtroom is open to the public, and the documents put in evidence can be available to the whole world. Details about your finances may become part of the public record. You can avoid that by using Alternative Dispute Resolution – or ADR. Indiana’s ADR Rules authorize the use of mediation and arbitration.


Mediation is an informal process where a neutral person, called a mediator, helps you find solutions to your differences. The Mediator can meet with everybody together, or the mediator may shuttle back and forth between the parties. The Mediator does not decide who is right or how the case should be resolved – in mediation, only the parties can do that. In some courts, judge requires mediation before your case can go to trial.


Arbitration uses private hearings to settle disputes.  The parties select a neutral party to serve as Arbitrator.  They agree in advance on the scope of the Arbitrator’s authority. Arbitration is more flexible and less formal than court.  It’s usually faster, too.  Pre-trial information gathering may be short-cut, and rules on the admissibility of evidence may be relaxed.  Each side presents its case to the arbitrator.  The arbitrator decides who wins and who loses on each point of contention.  The arbitrator’s decision is usually final, and courts rarely re-examine the ruling.

How We Help

As an experienced ADR Professional, Donna J. Bays can get to the core of your dispute. She always looks out for the best interests of any children. As a mediator, she finds areas of agreement and develops creative solutions. As an arbitrator, she listens to your evidence, considers your attorney’s arguments, and renders a clear decision, so you can move on with your life.

When serving as your attorney, we help you determine what form of ADR is in your best interests. In mediation, we help you negotiate a settlement that is consistent with your values.  In arbitration, we present your case clearly, so the arbitrator can see the facts from your perspective.