Alternative Dispute Resolutions: the Pro's and Con's

Essay by mrbl0ndeUniversity, Bachelor's June 2006

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The great country of the United States is a land known for great accomplishments and successful implementations of various systems. One of these implementations is that of the adversary system which can be traced back to British society. The United States heavily depends and promotes its version of the adversary system to ensure justice and guarantee individuals rights to its citizens. In recent years, the Unities Sates has experienced a tremendous workload in its courts that has led to new procedures for settling disputes outside of trial. These procedures, known as Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR), take form in primarily mediation and arbitration and are becoming more common and available to the public. Although many advocates prefer mediation or arbitration to court trials, the adversary system is still far more dominant and a major factor to this country's success in protecting citizens' rights and private property. By no means should mediation and/or arbitration replace today's adversary system, for it will fail to uphold the Framers' design of a fair and just judicial process and trial of ones' peers.

As the population in the United States continues to grow in vast amounts, the workloads of judges also follow the same pattern. Over 92 million cases are filed in state level courts each year. A majority of these cases are civil lawsuits between two private parties that do not involve the state. In these circumstances, alternative dispute resolutions can prove to be successful and essential to "provide readily accessible, fair, and appropriate means to resolve disputes; to increase the parties' participation in the dispute resolution process; to reduce litigant costs; to relieve congestion and demands on court resources; and to avoid delay in resolving disputes"(Carp 267). Although I oppose the idea of mediation and/or arbitration replacing the adversary system, I acknowledge...