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New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer

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"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' 'I don’t know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the cat, 'it doesn’t matter.'" So too, in 1994 NYS reached the proverbial fork in road as our state continued its foray into dispute resolution. Which road should New York State proceed down to promote the development of ADR in our state? Should New York State adopt a mandatory rule compelling ADR or should New York State embrace a more voluntary approach to ADR use? Expectedly, an individual reader’s initial preference for one approach or the other may be based on whether she is an ADR enthusiast or naysayer. Yet, New York State’s decision to support a voluntary approach rather than a mandatory approach to ADR is actually a nuanced one that respects New York’s court culture and adheres to conflict resolution system design principles. First, I explore the rationale for, and gains made under, New York’s chosen path, an evolutionary approach to ADR development. Then, I contemplate the lost opportunities on the road not taken, mandatory ADR. Finally, at our current fork in the road, I invite you to consider which path we should take as we continue to advance the responsible development of ADR use in New York State.


Reprinted with permission from the New York State Bar Association.



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