Thursday, July 10, 2014

Knocking the "A" off ADR

I was recently elected to the Executive Council of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of The Florida Bar. At our meeting during the annual convention in Orlando, we discussed the well-known rate of settlements and the fact that less than 2% of cases actually result in trials. Mediation is an established part of the legal system in most populous states and in reality, it is the norm rather than an alternative in resolving disputes. Court-ordered in many instances, but always voluntary as to the self-determined outcome, mediation is simply dispute resolution. I am now involved in producing an ADR Section website and our committee is thinking about shaking up the branding and nomenclature to reflect the maturity of mediation and arbitration. Perhaps ADR in the 21st century is a misnomer? Maybe the "A" in ADR should morph from "alternative" into "accessible" dispute resolution or be dropped entirely? These are some of the issues our profession is grappling with as our bar approaches 100,000 lawyers in Florida. Stay tuned for more on this topic and give your input by joining the ADR Section through the application here:$FILE/ADR%20Application.pdf?OpenElement