Confronting ADR Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum with Good Faith

53 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2008

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law; Cyberjustice Lab

Date Written: August 15, 2008

Abstract

This Article explores the intricate problem, or conundrum, of enforcing "Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR') agreements" that require mediation or other non-binding dispute resolution procedures. Although public policy supports ADR, courts' inadequate analysis of ADR agreements is threatening their vitality. Instead of properly considering the flexible nature of these agreements, courts assume formalist contract or no-contract conclusions similar to those they impose on what Professor Charles Knapp has termed "contracts to bargain." ADR agreements and other contracts to bargain pose enforcement problems because they require parties' cooperation without specifying what cooperation means or how to enforce such flexible duties. This Article confronts those problems and proposes that courts use duties of good faith and revived contract remedies to contextually enforce these agreements in proper cases.

Keywords: ADR, dispute resolution, contracts, good faith, mediation, contracts to bargain

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J., Confronting ADR Agreements' Contract/No-Contract Conundrum with Good Faith (August 15, 2008). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 56, p. 55, 2006, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1230083

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Cyberjustice Lab ( email )

Montreal
Canada

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