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Review of Litigation

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In the early stages of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) movement, the most common expectation regarding the effect ADR would have on the courts was twofold: It would relieve court congestion and delay, and it would increase public satisfaction with the justice system, by diverting cases that did not require the formal legal process into more suitable, informal fora.1 In other words, the expectation was not that the use of ADR would lead to changes in legal or courtroom procedures themselves, but that it would enable courts to conduct legal procedures with less pressure, delay, and congestion, and give parties someplace else to go when legal procedures were not necessary or useful. ADR, in this view, was not going to change the nature of what went on in court, but rather support the court system by reducing its caseload burden. ...

In this Article, I largely refrain from offering conclusions about the desirability of the different pictures presented; I try instead to note some of the potential benefits and risks implicit in each picture, leaving conclusions to the reader. However, the other contributors to this Symposium Issue do offer some judgments on particular developments, and the conclusion to this Article offers a few observations on some of their comments. As noted above, the scenarios described in this Article are not all mutually exclusive; some could fit together as parts of a single vision of the future. However, it is useful to view them separately. Since each one stresses particular aspects of possible future development, presenting them independently helps focus attention on each development in its own right.



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