Alternative Dispute Resolution: An Empirical Analysis
H. Jay Folberg
University of San Francisco - School of Law
Joshua D. Rosenberg
University of San Francisco School of Law
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 46, p. 1487, 1994
Many analysts and courts have made alternative dispute resolution (ADR) a key feature of proposals for civil justice reform. The authors served as advisors to a task force, which commissioned a study of the ADR program in the Northern District of California. This article presents the authors' extensive findings and recommendations. During the four-year study period, the district used an ADR process called "early neutral evaluation" (ENE), to which half of the cases in certain types of suits were assigned.
Two-thirds of those assigned to ENE were satisfied with the process and believed it was worth the resources devoted to it; half of those assigned to ENE saved money, with average savings exceeding ten times the cost of an ENE session; and about half of the cases in which ENE sessions were held were resolved more quickly than cases not assigned to the ENE program. Despite the fact that over 80 percent of attorneys assigned to ENE reported that they would select ENE in other cases, no one whose case was not automatically assigned to ENE asked to have the case assigned, even though that option was available and known. The key predictors of a successful ENE outcome were the attitude and skills of the neutral evaluator. A number of the authors' recommendations in this article thus focus on selecting and retaining effective neutrals.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 65
Keywords: Alternative Dispute Resolution, California courts, Early Neutral Evaluation, Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990
Date posted: March 20, 2008