Non-Adjudicatory ADR, Representation, and Case Outcomes
33 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2011 Last revised: 15 May 2012
Date Written: July 10, 2011
In recent decades there has been increasing recognition of the importance of non-adjudicatory ADR, like mediation, conciliation, and settlement conferences. The Article focuses on small claims settlement conferences, using the Israeli labor law system as a test case. It examines the impact of representation on the outcome of settlement conferences, and the effect of using settlement conferences on the outcome of the case itself. In doing so the Article contributes to the growing literature and public debate on ADR methods in general and small claims settlement conferences in particular.
Part I explains what small claims settlement conferences are, and how they are used in the Israeli labor courts system, and sets out our hypotheses in light of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature. Part II explains the research design. Our dataset is based on more than three hundred summary hearing cases in which the plaintiff was an employee and the defendant was an employer. The data collected with regard to each case consisted of information about the representation of each party (self-representation, representation by a lawyer who does not specialize in employment law, and representation by a specialist in the field); the outcome of the case (a successful settlement conference, a court facilitated settlement or a judicial decision following full trial) and the amount obtained by the plaintiff (compared to the amount claimed). The data enables us to compare the outcomes of the cases under various combinations of representation. Part III presents the results of the study. The most salient and interesting findings are that representation increases the probability of a successful settlement conference but reduces the ratio between the amount obtained by the plaintiff and the sum claimed. Perhaps more importantly, the more formal the process, the greater the proportion of the claim won by the plaintiff. Part IV analyzes and explains the results. The Conclusion summarizes the findings and the conclusions, discusses normative implications and proposes directions for further research.
JEL Classification: J52, K00, K31, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation