Mandatory Court-Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution in the United States Federal Courts: Panacea or Pandemic?
St. John's Law Review, Vol. 81, 2007
23 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2007
Over the last thirty years in the United States, as well as internationally, there has been a rapid expansion in alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"). This Article pauses to reflect on the relative benefits of both ADR and litigation and recognizes that meshing the two may yield unintended consequences that operate to the detriment of both the adversary process and ADR.
The Article provides an overview of the development of ADR in the federal courts and questions how best to measure the satisfaction of those involved. The Article goes on to describe the positions of both the proponents and critics of increased ADR in the courts and consider what conclusions, if any, can be drawn from the study of empirical data. The Article concludes by outlining issues that remain to be addressed, including the interrelationship between ADR and the court process, and proposes continued oversight and scrutiny of the processes designed to operate after the parties enter the courthouse.
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