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Mediation and Prepaid Legal Plans

NCJ Number
Mediation Quarterly Issue: 18 Dated: (Winter 1987) Pages: 91-95
K Cloke; A Strachan
Date Published
5 pages
This article argues for including mediation and arbitration in prepaid legal plans so as to reduce costs and increase client satisfaction.
A full-service prepaid legal plan should include a range of conflict resolution procedures, from advice and letter writing to mediation, arbitration, and litigation. By excluding mediation and arbitration, litigation becomes the sole costly alternative. Prepaid legal plans, with fixed budgets, would save considerable time and money by using mediators as an adjunct to litigation, freeing attorney time for cases not settled apart from litigation. A professional mediation organization under contract with the plan for a set fee per case could produce a higher percentage of settlements in difficult cases and could operate on an attorney or office referral system. Most legal problems that are not initially solved by advice or letter writing can be resolved in a single 2-hour mediation session at a fraction of the cost of litigation. A voluntary settlement through mediation will also reduce the number of legal malpractice and incompetence claims. The article provides a chart that compares features of mediation with those of arbitration and litigation. 7 references.


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