Many attorneys and scholars have written about the “vanishing trial.” This refers to the decrease in the number of people going to trial to settle their disputes. Instead, more and more people are turning to ADR methods. Most people know that ADR stands for “alternative dispute resolution.” This terms refers to methods such as arbitration, mediation, private-judging, and neutral evaluation. However, times are now changing. With more and more people turning to arbitration and mediation, going to court to resolve legal disputes is now becoming the true alternative.
Those that are turning away from the court system are going either towards arbitration or mediation. However, they often fail to understand that arbitration is very similar to going to court because both have the same downsides. Like the court system, arbitration results in high costs, a waste of time, stress, and uncertain results. While arbitrators can work with their clients like judges through pre-arbitration meetings, they will never be able to truly distinguish themselves from trials. The major downside of arbitration is the inability to predict what the arbitrator will decide. Due to this, mediation has come one of the most popular ways to resolve legal disputes today.
Micheal Carbone presents a very interesting view on the rapidly changing legal field. While we are all used to seeing arbitration, mediation, and negotiation as methods of ADR, this can change in the near future. Less people want to solve their legal disputes through through the court system. This is the reason the courts may become a form of ADR, whereas mediation may become the generally accepted way to solve disputes. We will have to wait to see whether the field of mediation continues to thrive in the future.
Source referenced: Mediate