Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit


(973) 504-6200
Due to COVID-19, messages by phone may result in a delayed response.
Please email your inquiry to the email listed on this webpage.

Inquiries about the Unit may be forwarded to

Alternative Dispute
Resolution Unit

P.O. Box 45023
Newark, New Jersey 07101

Faced with an ever-growing caseload within its Office of Consumer Protection, the Division established its Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit (ADR)  in 1992. It serves as an independent, impartial, non-advocacy program within the Division.

Because of its success, the ADR Unit's role was expanded to incorporate many professional licensing boards, including the State Board of Medical Examiners, the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling and the New Jersey State Board of Architects.

The unit was further expanded in 1999 when it began resolving disputes through arbitration. The ADR Unit uses the two (2) most common forms of dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration.

Most of the participants in our ADR program have said that they found the process to be "very good"   or  "excellent."


Mediation is an informal, voluntary process in which a neutral third party assists those in conflict to reach a resolution which is acceptable to all parties. The mediator is not the decision-maker, but helps the disputing parties resolve conflicts by exploring all of the options and managing the negotiation process.

While mediation is a completely voluntary process, should the parties reach an agreement, the agreement is binding and enforceable in court, like any other agreement. If the parties do not reach a mutually acceptable agreement, they are free to pursue legal action.


Arbitration is a voluntary legal process which takes place outside of the courts.  In arbitration a neutral third party acts as a decision-maker.  Unlike mediation, the award issued by the arbitrator is legally binding and generally cannot be appealed.  The arbitrator does not have to be a lawyer nor do the parties have to bring lawyers to the hearing.  Those involved receive the opportunity to present their case to the arbitrator in their own words, without an overly structured, formal hearing.

When matters are arbitrated, parties are required to sign an Arbitration Agreement.  Should either party fail to live up to the arbitrator's decision, the other party may go to the court of appropriate jurisdiction to have the award enforced. 

Additional information regarding the Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit (ADR):

Internship/Volunteer Program​ 

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is looking for interns and volunteers who are interested in mediating and/or arbitrating disputes for the Division's Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit (ADR Unit). Undergraduate and graduate students will be given the opportunity to participate in an unpaid internship during their Fall or Spring semesters or during their Summer break. For those who are not students and wish to volunteer their services, the ADR Unit provides an opportunity to help others whose disputes benefit from a less formal process.

This is a great opportunity for volunteers and students to experience working in the field of dispute resolution .  Although this is an UNPAID internship/volunteer program, for students it will still teach you a great deal and will be a great experience for any student who hopes to one day work in dispute resolution. For volunteers, this a great opportunity to network as well as engage in pro bono or service-to-community work.

All mediators and arbitrators will be required to complete 3 days of mandatory training. Training will be provided by the ADR Unit at no cost.  Once the training is completed the volunteer/student will receive a certificate.


If you are an undergraduate or graduate student and would like to be considered for an UNPAID position in the ADR Unit, please submit a completed Internship Program Application, cover letter, and resume. Undergraduate and graduate students submitting applications for the Internship/Volunteer Program should adhere to the following schedule:

Spring Session
(January - May)
Application Deadline:
November 28
Summer Session
(May - August)
Application Deadline:
March 25
Fall Session
(September - December)
Application Deadline:
July 11

Internship Program Contact Email  Internship Mailing Address 
Francine Widrich
c/o Elena Farfan
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
Internship Program
P.O. Box 46024
Newark, NJ 07102

If you have any questions about becoming an Intern , you may send an email to the address above or call (973) 504-6310.


If you are interested in volunteering  please submit a completed Mediation Seminar and Volunteer Application, letter of interest, cover letter, and resume to:

Volunteer Program Contact Email  Volunteer Program Mailing Address
Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit
c/o Jennie-Rabecca Reilly
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
Volunteer Program
P.O. Box 46023
Newark, NJ 07102

Last Modified: 2/10/2021 5:43 AM