Lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming. Most of us know this. Those who do not will quickly learn this after becoming embroiled in a dispute that begins to spiral toward the courthouse. Cook Law & ADR is committed to doing whatever might be possible to assist lawyers and their clients (and sometimes parties who are without lawyers), to best avoid the time, expense, and aggravation of courtrooms where, truth be told, only the lawyers and the experts are the only certain winners and many times only bad things end up happening. Why not engage in the beneficial pursuit of early out- of-court solutions before you find yourself deeply embroiled n the high stakes gamble that is litigation?


The lawyers that you have hired can and will do a wonderful job for you. They have done well for you to this point. However, what they cannot do is give you ironclad assurances of your final outcome. Through the ADR process, you are best able to be an active participant in your dispute. You are in charge of your case. With ADR, you can best control your outcome while sitting in the private and relative obscurity of a conference room rather than in a publicly aired grievance at your often not-so- friendly county courthouse. Perhaps most importantly, ADR may you allow the opportunity to mend broken fences and get back in the game more quickly than will the high price of courtroom battle.


Timothy C. Cook has served as a party-selected mediator, arbitrator, appraiser, umpire, or neutral evaluator in over 1300 disputes. His success rate is markedly high. He is on the Supreme Court Rule 114 list of qualified neutrals for both facilitative and evaluative forms on alternate dispute resolution. He is a member of the State Bar Association’s section on Alternate Dispute Resolution where he works with and shares ideas with many other attorneys committed to the ADR process. On occasion, he shares his knowledge and experience on the ADR lecture circuit. He has been recognized as a leader in his craft by trade publications. He is well respected by his peers who trust him implicitly to capably and faithfully serve their clients, and all involved parties, in the always challenging and at times complex ADR process.


Using carefully blended doses of empathy, compassion, humor, logic, mathematics, and when necessary, a healthy dose of the cold hard truths of life and the law, Mr. Cook is prepared to work tirelessly with parties to successfully forge final agreements from their brewing cauldrons of adversity. With ADR, you ultimately have very little to lose and most everything to gain.


If you are in search of a mediator, and arbitrator, or some other form of ADR neutral who has the best interests of a final resolution in mind on fair and reasonable terms, and based solely on the evidence when serving as an arbitrator, Cook Law & ADR stands ready to provide you with solid service at a fair and reasonable price and in a setting that is both comfortable and private. We will also gladly travel to your location for the mediation or other ADR services.


Those areas where Cook Law & ADR can assist with ADR services include:


→   Construction issues and claims.
→   Project and field mediations to resolve issues as they arise, at their source, before they spiral out of control.
→   Real estate disputes.
→   Employment concerns.
→   Business challenges.
→   Commercial transactions.
→   Insurance and bond matters.
→   Shareholder disputes.
→   Domestic partnerships and partition actions.
→   Injury claims.
→   Most all other matters involving the pocketbook, the head, or the heart.

More About ADR.

There are several options of alternative dispute resolution that are available to parties. In most lawsuits, courts require parties to first attempt to resolve their matters using some form of ADR before their case goes to trial. The field of potential ADR services is broad. These primarily include the following:


→   Mediation: A process by which a mediator works with parties, typically sitting in private and separate rooms, to communicate with each other, to share their positions and concerns, and to ultimately reach a binding agreement to resolve their dispute. In mediation, there is no agreement unless the parties mutually agree to have an agreement. No decisions are imposed on you by outside parties. You are in charge. Most often, you leave with a written final agreement in hand.


→   Arbitration: Many construction and real estate contracts require arbitration to resolve disputes. Parties select a knowledgeable and efficient arbitrator who can quickly get to the heart of a matter and who will rule promptly, intelligently, and fairly. Arbitration typically serves as a substitute for trial. If done properly and efficiently, it is generally much quicker and far less expensive than is litigation. It is, in short, a “trial” conducted in a private and more comfortable setting. Arbitration decisions are binding and are subject to challenge only in a narrow set of circumstances.


→   Mediation – Arbitration (Med-Arb). This hybrid involves agreement to first attempt to resolve a dispute through mediation. If impasse is reached, the parties agree to arbitrate their disputes, often proceeding near immediately to that stage and with the mediator putting on the hat of their arbitrator to make binding decisions on those matters on which they could not reach agreement themselves.


→   Appraisal/Umpire Process. Insurance contracts and the law often provide for a process to resolve insurance disputes by parties first each selecting an independent appraiser who in turn designate a third person who serves as umpire and who facilitates the process of reviewing and determining the claims based on the evidence. Together, the panel assesses and decides a range of policy issues and damage claims as allowed by law.


→   Designated neutral referee: Increasingly, parties with construction contracts are identifying in advance a neutral referee to resolve potential disputes. Making this decision upfront can ensure the neutral party is familiar with the project, knowledgeable on the issues, and trusted by both parties.


→   Summary Jury Trial. Want a jury? Careful for what you wish, but we can provide you with one to give you a generally non-binding view of your evidence. With a raft of contacts across the full range of the socio-economic scale, Cook Law & ADR can draw on a wide swath of potential jurors who will give you a solid representation of who you might actually expect to see on a Minnesota jury. We assure you that your “panel” will not be comprised solely of suburbanite and high-rise high-heeled white breads. We’ll give you a “jury of your peers” who will tell you how they see things unfolding.


→   Early Neutral Evaluations. Present your disputes to a qualified neutral for an assessment of your dispute, typically done in the presence of the parties. Having the strength and merits of your dispute viewed through the dispassionate eyes of a neutral rather than through your capable advocates, preferably early on in the process, can prove to be invaluable.


→   Other Methods. Do we want or need to get creative about resolving a particularly nasty or difficult dispute that requires some sensitivity, creativity, or direction. Cook Law & ADR specializes in the difficult and the emotional. Let’s do this and get it done.

Download Tim Cook’s ADR resume and qualifications.

Download a sample form of an Agreement to Mediate. Subject to tailored revision on a case-by-case basis.


Click here for a sample form of an Arbitration Agreement. Subject to tailored revision on a case-by-case basis.

See our useful links for other sources of information on ADR.