I've never heard of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Is this something only lawyers learn about in law school?
Answer: Lawyers may study this in law school, but ADR has become a recognized field of study for others. Over two dozen colleges offer a bachelor's degree in conflict management, and several award masters and doctorate degrees. The contemporary focus is theory and practice for resolving business to business, workplace, or family issues, as opposed to the more traditional major of international relations.
Where can I learn more about Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Answer: There are helpful summaries on these sites:
Alternative Dispute Resolution Defined
ADR Types & Benefits
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Rapid Rulings will update this Resources section with information on a weekly basis. If you'd like to receive information automatically about the development of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), go to Rapid Rulings' Company page on LinkedIn and click the yellow "Follow" button in the upper right hand corner. I will be posting short news summaries there with links to source documents.
Could you show me what a brief and ruling look like?
Answer: Yes, check out an example case here.
Could you do a presentation to my company/professional organization/not-for-profit/law firm/chuch/government agency?
Answer: Yes, if there will be at least 20 attendees. If your group is smaller, perhaps we could schedule something when I'm near your location for other reasons. If your organization hosts webinars, I could present in that format. In addition, if your group is attorneys or some other profession in which annual continuing education is required, we can work together to qualify the presentation. The theme would be "Evolution of Alternative Dispute Resolution", exploring all the types available, but will be tailored to the interests of your group. This would not be an infomercial on my services.
How popular is ADR?
Answer: There is no reliable data to use to estimate the number of lawsuits that are resolved through ADR. While less than 5% of lawsuits go to trial, that doesn't mean the other 95% end through ADR. Judges dismiss some cases as a matter of law, some cases aren't pursued vigorously, and of course some settle through simple direct negotiation between the parties. How many cases conclude in those wasy, compared to the use of structured ADR methods, is unknown.
There’s not a lot out there about ODR. Can it really work?
Answer: There are three significant factors leading to disruption in the legal area, according to Nicolle Schippers, Associate General Counsel of ARAG, a legal insurance company. In her article “Change in our profession – Is it real?,” she examines them. The first is a change in consumers: they want services 24/7/365 at the touch of a mouse that have been reviewed by actual customers. Second, the U.S. ranks 65 of 102 countries in terms of the accessibility and affordability of the civil (as opposed to criminal) justice system. This means there is pent-up need/demand for legal services in the middle income, lower income, and small business markets to the tune of $100 billion. Third, the change agent of our lifetime – technology – has not yet fully impacted the legal profession. While ODR might be a newcomer, the bases for it are firmly in place.