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Yale Journal on Regulation

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During the past thirty years, scholars and practitioners have shown an increased interest in the development of alternatives to traditional litigation as a means for resolving disputes. The literature is replete with discussions of various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. These mechanisms include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, mini-trials, and summary jury trials. A number of commentators have noted the advantages these methods have over traditional adjudication. Among these benefits are the saving of time and money; the flexibility and creative responsiveness of alternative processes; the achievement of results that better serve the needs of the parties; the enhancement of community involvement in the dispute resolution process; the reduction of court caseloads; and broader access to the justice system. Given these purported benefits, proposals have been made suggesting the use of ADR to resolve a wide range of disputes that are traditionally adjudicated in the courts. These range from consumer cases and housing disputes to divorce and domestic violence actions. Authors have also called for the use of ADR processes in such complex fields as environmental and nuclear energy regulation.



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