Where the Work Is: ADR

by Mike Mintz on August 12, 2009 · 0 comments

in Martindale-Hubbell Connected,Uncategorized

expand the pieAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has always been a field of interest for me b/c of it’s collaborative elements.  In high school, a social studies teacher introduced this concept by having us play an educational game called “Diplomacy,” which was mix of Risk, Monopoly, and Survivor (alliances) rolled into one.  Learning to work with your adversary was the key take away for me at that early stage in my development.  Then in college and law school, I took practical negotiation courses, which stressed principled negotiation and championed expanding the pie between adversaries so both could walk away with something satisfying.

In today’s economic climate, avoiding litigation is proving to be a major cost saver.  Businesses seek to minimize their risks and costs, so law firms and lawyers are finding an expanded pie in the market for those skilled in ADR.  The ABA Journal quotes that “data from the AAA shows the organization’s 2008 case filings rose to 138,447 up 8.4 percent from a year earlier.”  This trend, however, may be curtailed by the passing of the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009, which has the potential to invalidate contracts requiring employees to undergo arbitration prior to any disputes.

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