Jury trials are the foundation of our legal system. The poorest and meekest among us may be heard by a jury of fellow citizens no matter the power and strength of the opponent.
But jury trials are time consuming, expensive and in the final analysis somewhat unpredictable.
In our legal system today most important disputes at some time enter the ADR system. And by important, we dont just mean money. Homes and careers and reputations and yes, even marriages, benefit from neutral evaluation.
The concept first hit the global stage with Henry Kissingers shuttle diplomacy efforts in the Middle East in the early 1970s. Now the flying is back and forth between conference rooms on the same floor, but the concept is the same. If a neutral person respected by both sides can keep the message alive while downplaying the antagonism, rational parties may find a resolution that is better than the alternative of a trial.
Rich McLeod serves as a neutral in ADR matters for other lawyers and parties over 100 times each year. You can download Richs CV by clicking here.