This post just out from the Law Librarian Blog advising that arbitration ranked third behind mediation and early case assessment as the most preferred form of alternative dispute resolution.
A recent survey by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution found that;
'The U.S.-based attorneys that we surveyed overwhelmingly embrace mediation as the most powerful method to resolve complex business disputes outside of court, citing “cost savings” and “speed” as the primary reasons for their preference. Law firm respondents were more concerned about the risks of confidentiality and that mediation would convey weakness than were corporate lawyers.
Surprisingly, a major hallmark of mediation, that it alone provides the ability to maintain and improve relationships despite a dispute, scored low in importance for corporate counsel' .
Aside from the obvious good news, two things that disappoint -
1) are we not yet over that weakness thing? I think most sophisticated operators are, and
2) cost is still the primary driver to mediation, when we all know it offers so much more
In fact ALL of cost savings/speed/confidentiality/reduced discovery/finality rated higher as motivators for mediation than maintaining relationships and improved results - the very two things we mediators put up in lights when selling!
Read more : CPR's Survey on ADR Trends (first quarter 2007)