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Emerging Options in Dispute Resolution

NCJ Number
ABA Journal Dated: (June 1989) Pages: 66-68
L Ray
Date Published
3 pages
Several dispute resolution processes and a pilot dispute resolution program are discussed, with the suggestion that lawyers and judges can often better serve the needs of clients and the public by replacing the win-lose orientation of litigation with the problem-solving focus of dispute resolution.
In some jurisdictions courts are shutting down their civil court calendars and encouraging disputants to resolve their differences through dispute resolution. Law firms are also incorporating alternative dispute settlement into their practices. Alternative dispute settlement processes ranging from private judging to moderated settlement conferences are discussed in detail. To help disputants to find the most appropriate dispute settlement process, the American Bar Association has sponsored a pilot project called the Multi-Door Courthouse (Dispute Resolution) Centers in Houston, Texas and the District of Columbia. A counselor interviews the disputant to find the best forum to resolve his dispute. In the interview the consultants in the pilot projects assess case characteristics, dispute resolution options, and the desires of the parties. Not all problems can be resolved by mediation, however. Spousal and child abuse as well as alcohol and drug abuse are usually inappropriate problems for alternative dispute resolution.