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Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques

Eric D. Green, Resolution and Avoidance of Disputes (1984)


I. A Conceptual Framework for “ADR”

“Alternate Dispute Resolution” is best thought of as involving processes other than the two most-used primary processes — adjudication and negotiation. Alternative processes can be used in a variety of settings:

*They can be court-annexed or court-sponsored — as in the trial court's voluntary arbitration program or Federal Judge Thomas Lambros' summary jury trial.

*They can take place in an established private forum — as in a privately funded arbitration or mediation service, such as the American Arbitration Association, Better Business Bureau, EnDispute, or many Neighborhood Justice Centers.

*They can be implemented in an ad hoc arrangement agreed to by the parties to a dispute — as where the parties agreed to hire a former judge to conduct a private voluntary settlement conference or choose to conduct a “Mini-Trial...”

All alternative processes aim to allow the parties to reach a faster, less expensive and more appropriate resolution of their dispute than they would reach if they relied on the traditional processes of adjudication and negotiation.

Some alternative processes — such as mediation and Mini-Trials — aim to help facilitate the process of voluntary settlement. The mediation, for example, may help calm the emotionalism of a dispute. Other alternative processes — such as bin