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ADR In Asbestos and Agent Orange Cases - Forgoing Solutions to Complex Multi-Party Litigations (From CPR Legal Program Proceedings, P 53-63, 1984 - See NCJ-97003)

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages
This article emphasizes that the massive, multiparty type of dispute is one area where alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can make substantial contributed to the parties' reaching an agreement are identified, including the commitment by the majority of the participants to the ADR process and the high level of intelligence and dedication of the participants.
The use of special masters in the Agent Orange case is discussed, and the procedural andsubstantive differences between the Agent Orange case and the asbestos cases are analyzed. The first important difference was the posture of the case: Agent Orange was a class action involving only seven defendants before a single judge; the asbestos cases, however, were spread throughout courts in the United States, involved dozens of defendants, and were marked by highly adversarial positions taken by defendant insurers. The second major difference was the participation of special masters, who acted as a buffer between the court and the parties in the settlement negotiation. The key players in the Agent Orange settlement are identified, and the possibility of applying the processes and tools used in the Agent Orange and asbestos cases to waste disputes is explored.


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