Chris Guthrie

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Journal of Dispute Resolution

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mediation, dispute resolution; trial, arbitration and settlement


Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Law | Litigation


Professor Deborah Hensler tells an important cautionary tale about mandatory mediation in her thoughtful and provocative contribution to this volume. In Suppose It's Not True: Challenging Mediation Ideology, Hensler observes that courts are now requiring litigants to mediate civil cases "on the grounds that litigants prefer [mediation] to traditional litigation," yet there is "a long line of social psychological research on individuals' evaluations of different dispute resolution procedures" consistent with the "idea that litigants might prefer adversarial litigation and adjudication" to mediation.' Hensler acknowledges that "some experimental research has found that subjects prefer mediation," but she argues that "the empirical work to date [does not] provide strong support for the notion that civil disputants prefer mediation to adversarial litigation and adjudication."



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