The Effectiveness of Court-Connected Dispute Resolution in Civil Cases

Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Vol. 22, p. 55, 2004

34 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2010 Last revised: 23 Mar 2022

See all articles by Roselle Wissler

Roselle Wissler

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

This article reviews empirical studies of court-connected mediation and neutral evaluation in small claims cases, general jurisdiction trial cases, and appellate cases. For each case type, the studies' data sources and methodology are briefly outlined, and the dispute resolution process and structure of the programs are described. The empirical findings regarding program outcomes and how those outcomes compared to non-ADR program outcomes are presented. In addition, findings showing the impact of program structure on outcomes are reported. In general, the empirical research indicates that mediation and neutral evaluation settle cases and that participants view the process and outcome as fair. The findings are mixed, however, with regard to whether mediation and neutral evaluation outperform or simply do as well as traditional litigation on these dimensions, and on compliance, improving the parties’ relationship, and reducing the time and cost of resolution. Moreover, the pattern of findings differs depending on the type of court. Only a handful of studies have systematically assessed the impact of elements of program structure, and their findings are mixed. Our ability to draw clear conclusions about the relative effectiveness and efficiency of court-connected mediation, neutral evaluation, and traditional litigation is limited by the small number of studies with reliable comparative data.

Keywords: mediation, empirical research, early neutral evaluation

Suggested Citation

Wissler, Roselle, The Effectiveness of Court-Connected Dispute Resolution in Civil Cases (2004). Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Vol. 22, p. 55, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1723283

Roselle Wissler (Contact Author)

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University ( email )

111 E. Taylor St.
Mail code 9520
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States

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