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The primary reasons are two:
And so, while I personally encourage as many disputants as possible to maintain maximum control over their discussions and outcomes with mediation, I also understand that some disputants prefer a process in which they have more active legal representation at the core of their negotiation process. Others may favor the relative formality and guaranteed result of arbitration, perhaps as good-will negotiations have been exhausted. In sum, there is a broad and expanding dispute resolution marketplace with each ADR process offering its own qualities, advantages, risks and costs.
In terms of the centrality of ADR these days, it is quite clear to me, at least for the “99%,” that ADR has in fact “won the day.” Being realistic, who can afford to go to court anymore? Have you seen the headlines where courtrooms are being shuttered as state and local governments are no longer able to afford to keep them open! Many dozens of courtrooms have been closed in San Francisco and Los Angeles alone. Courts are these days essentially serve corporate interests, operate our criminal justice system (I will avoid any comments about the drug war costs here) and (barely) handle necessary domestic relations (divorce) and eviction (FED and Foreclosure) actions. For the rest of us, the courts are nearly irrelevant for the day-to-day issues that face us.
Whether it is some flavor of mediation, collaborative law or arbitration, ADR participants are these days making thoughtful choices about the best dispute resolution approach for their situation. And not only the best process, but even the best flavor of that preferred process. Some in the marketplace purposefully pursue “transformative mediation,” while others now specifically want “facilitative” or “evaluative” or “online” mediation. In the world of collaborative practice, some want a streamlined collaborative legal representation, while others are attracted to the possibility of a collaborative team of professionals. For others, such as those involved in internet commerce who have never actually “met,” it may make most sense to not only swiftly resolve a commercial dispute through arbitration, but to fully do that online without anyone needing to travel or physically meet. And all of this is evolving on a daily basis. I am the first to admit that it is all rather mind-boggling.
Mind-boggling or not, we do in fact have a rapidly expanding ADR marketplace (did I mention that this is all also global?) and Mediate.com is more committed than ever to bringing top-flight, ongoing information to the dispute resolving public and their referral sources so that best-considered ADR and professional choices can be made.
The critical function that Mediate.com CollabLaw.com, Arbitrate.com and our additional ADR Professional Directory sites offer is that of:
A final interesting thing about our supporting the growth of ADR online is that the online environment is not limited by traditional limiting concepts of time and space. On the Internet, you can in fact be in ten places at one time and, given the way search engines work, that is in fact a very good idea! It is then ultimately the online realities of our best spreading the word about ADR and best supporting our professional clients with their online exposure that has led Mediate.com to embrace collaborative practice, arbitration and the full range of ADR options.
My experience and belief is that informed disputants make great choices. Our quest at Mediate.com (and now also at CollabLaw.com, Arbitrate.com and our additional ADR sites) is to best inform disputants in support of both their dispute resolution process and professional selections. Thanks for your ongoing support as we spread our ADR wings!
Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 and has served as CEO of Mediate.com ever since. Mediate.com received the American Bar Association's 2010 Institutional Problem Solver Award.
Before Mediate.com, Jim founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983 and served as Executive Director of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) from 1987 to 1993. Jim was also the first President and Executive Director of the Oregon Mediation Association (1985-86).
Jim has received the following awards:
Jim's undergraduate degree is in in psychology from Stanford University and his law degree is from the University of Oregon.
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