The Effects of Mandatory Mediation: Empirical Research on the Experience of Small Claims and Common Pleas Courts

Willamette Law Review, Vol. 33, p. 565, 1997

40 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2010

See all articles by Roselle Wissler

Roselle Wissler

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

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

This article reports the findings of empirical studies that examined the effects of mandatory mediation in small claims and general civil cases. The article begins with a discussion of the factors that led to the adoption of mandatory mediation and concerns that have been raised about its use. The studies compared cases that were required to use mediation and cases that voluntarily chose mediation in terms of the outcomes of mediation and party and attorney perceptions of the process, the mediator, and the outcome. Settlement rates were somewhat lower when mediation was mandatory than when both parties chose to mediate, with intermediate settlement rates when only one party requested mediation. Among cases that settled, there were no differences in the outcome or in parties' assessments of the agreement or compliance with it. There were few differences between mandatory and voluntary mediation in parties' perceptions of the mediation process and the mediator.

Keywords: Mediation, alternative dispute resolution, empirical research

Suggested Citation

Wissler, Roselle, The Effects of Mandatory Mediation: Empirical Research on the Experience of Small Claims and Common Pleas Courts (1997). Willamette Law Review, Vol. 33, p. 565, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1724817

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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