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The Judges Journal




So you are thinking about making Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) a part of your existing statewide judicial process-but you don't know how. You want to provide litigants with alternative ways to resolve their disputes, through processes such as mediation, arbitration, and summary jury trials. In fact, you have been experimenting with these processes on an ad hoc basis and have had quite a few successes. You think you could accomplish even more if you made ADR a routine part of the judicial process. But you are cautious about the role that your state court system should take in promoting and providing ADR.

The decision to incorporate ADR into the judicial process can be an exciting, yet daunting task. In many years of working with Minnesota's state court system, we have struggled with these very issues. We hope with this article (1) to share information with you about what has worked and not worked in our experience, and (2) to give you the benefit of insights we have gained in our efforts to broaden the legal and judicial landscape. We will try to provide you with very practical advice and, where possible, reference other resources you can consult for more in-depth information. Sometimes, it may seem that there are more questions than answers. This simply is because we know that each state court system is unique-the specific culture of each court system determines the most appropriate answers.

The ultimate goal of this article is to provide you with enough information to lead you to the ADR program that will be appropriate to the needs of your court system.

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7 (11-15; 44-45)

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American Bar Association

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