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Understanding Special Legal Issues Relating to ADR and Public Agencies


Resolving disputes between public agencies using one of several alternative dispute resolution techniques offers both unique opportunities and unique challenges. ADR can provide the parties with the opportunity to bridge the gap between their public positions and thereby come up with a solution to the dispute that is truly the creation of the parties themselves.

However, public agency decision-making processes, unlike those relating to private disputants, is subject to a number of laws designed to provide transparency and fair processes which allow the public to maximize their input into the decision-making process and to hold their representative government accountable.These include laws relating to:

  • Limits on delegating decision-making authority
  • Open meeting laws
  • Public records disclosure requirements
  • Public hearing requirements

The Institute has prepared a pamphlet called Alternative Dispute Resolution: Navigating Special Legal Issues in Public Agency Disputes that discusses this unique aspect of ADR between local government agencies. The Institute is grateful for the generous support of Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP on this effort.

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