Do We Ask And Expect Too Much From Mediation? (A Fourth Circuit Mediation Order)

By Donald L. Swanson Sometimes, mediation is asked and expected to do a lot. And sometimes mediation is asked and expected to do more than it can actually perform: i.e., many puzzles and problems defy solution. A new mediation order out of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals asks and hopes for a lot from... Continue Reading →

When a Case is “Ripe” for Early Mediation

By Donald L. Swanson A 2018 mediation study [Fn. 1] tests the following hypothesis: That referral of a lawsuit to mediation at an early stage is more likely to lead to settlement than a later referral. What the study finds is that timing is a complex issue that’s influenced by and “could be a proxy for”... Continue Reading →

How To Mandate A Voluntary Mediation System That Thrives: A Minnesota Example

By Donald L. Swanson Back in 1994, Minnesota state courts adopt a "mandatory consideration" rule for alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") possibilities. The rule works, back then, like this: Attorneys are required to, (i) consider using ADR in every civil case, (ii) discuss ADR with their client(s) and opposing counsel, and (iii) advise the court of their... Continue Reading →

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