|Historically courts are a place where people bring their conflicts. As early as 1850, Abraham Lincoln cautioned about litigation excesses, and advised compromise. "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loserin fees.”
In Court, parties ultimately find a resolution to their
conflicts, but in some cases, emotions and hostilities, result in difficult
Former Chief Justice Warren Burger, among others, suggested it is the
legal system's responsibility to seek the most agreeable solution for
both parties. "The obligation of the legal profession is to serve
as the HEALERS of human conflicts. To fulfill this traditional
obligation of our profession, means that we should provide
the mechanisms that can produce an acceptable result in
the shortest possible time with the least possible expense
and with a minimum of stress on the participants. That is
what a system of justice is all about."
Conventional methods such as a trial are a perfectly acceptable
means to achieve this goal. However, in 1984, the Superior Court instituted
an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program which provides for multidoor
access to the resolution of conflict. Under the amended Civil
Rule 16 (effective March 1, 2008) every civil case is now subject to compulsory
The Superior Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program enables
parties who agree on an ADR type to stipulate to a any of the available three forms of ADRarbitration, mediation
or neutral assessmentto reach a resolution to the parties' controversy.
If the parties cannot agree upon a form of ADR, mediation is the mandated
form. Today, nearly 85-90% of all cases
which are filed never see the inside of a courtroom; those cases which
have merit are usually settled for a mutually acceptable amount.