ADR Notable - Creating an Industry Leader in Dispute Resolutions
Gary Doernhoefer is a serial entrepreneur. After three decades of real-world experience in managing legal issues and disputes in a wide variety of contexts and helping launch three startup companies, he founded ADR Notable. ADR Notable provides a software platform designed specifically for dispute resolution professionals. He speaks on an array of topics. Excerpts from an interview:
Conception of ADR Notable
“Great admiration for the work of dispute resolution professionals as essential peacemakers in our society is one of the main reasons that led me to the conception of ADR Notable,” says Gary. A desire to help, along with a recognition that basic technology available today could immediately alleviate some of the administrative burden and allow dispute resolutions professionals to focus on their essential human skills, remain other reasons.
Features of the ADR Platform
ADR Notable offers an easy-to-use platform designed to support the dispute resolution practitioner at every step in the process. “I was first interested in the notetaking stage of dispute resolution. Asking two or more parties to tell their stories rarely results in a clear, linear storyline leading to an inevitable conclusion. The dispute resolution professional needs to be able to take notes of important issues and proposals, and manage them while staying focused on the parties,” observes Gary. He started with the patent-pending Noteboard, which is a way to capture notes of conversations where you can attribute a note to a speaker, capture the content, and assign it a type – issue, proposal, fact, etc. – all in the blink of an eye. “In short, we keep the peacemaker focused and organized with less effort than a pen and a legal pad. We then placed the Noteboard into a solution that addresses the entire business process flow, from initial client intake, case setup, document management, the Noteboard, drafting the terms of the agreement, and even the easy deletion of confidential information when the matter is concluded,” says Gary. Simple process aides like checklists, ways to store and incorporate standard forms and commonly used clauses all were added and put securely in the cloud behind Microsoft Azure’s constantly monitored firewalls and virus detection.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR Notable also plays a part in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). “ADR is a growing field and any business executive, legal or not, should learn more about dispute resolution to address conflict arising within the organization. ADR allows you to efficiently resolve dispute confidentially, and with lower costs and more predictable outcomes,” adds Gary.
One of the most significant lessons learned from the response to the pandemic is that forms of alternative dispute resolution – generally comprising mediation and arbitration and referred to as ADR – were able to make a much more rapid pivot to adopt technology and virtual processes than the courts. “This is due to the flexibility and ability of the parties defining the processes in non-litigation dispute resolution. The response to the pandemic has also proven that technology can benefit the process, saving time and money for everyone concerned,” says Gary.
“The practice of law is inherently backward-looking, based on precedent and slow to change,” observes Gary. Going further, dispute resolution is often conducted by experienced judges, lawyers, or industry professionals as a second or even third career, skewing higher the age of such neutrals who may perceive less benefit from innovation in the face of fewer remaining working years. The combination of age and a profession based on history makes adoption of new technology a particularly difficult challenge. ADR Notable provides an easy transition from the status quo to a platform that replaces pen and paper and unsuitable applications with technology that automates and simplifies the process, specifically for dispute resolution. “Once people have a chance to try it, they realize how they can save time and manage a higher number of cases, which also translates into higher income,” says Gary.
“The traits that have served me best start with basic common sense and good judgment. I also can see small step-by-step processes – maybe with a dose of creativity – to solve complex issues, have the confidence to make a decision, and the ability to communicate that vision in a persuasive way,” says Gary. Noting that experience has taught him humility, Gary says that the curiosity coupled with humility works for him and helps him learn from others. “Secondly, I would say I am reliable, which is an expression of integrity,” as he signs off.