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NCJ Number: 98559 Find in a Library
Title: Neighborhood Dispute Resolution Projects - The Legacy of Our Adversarial System (From Study of Barriers to the Use of Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution, P 43-55, 1984 - See NCJ-97339)
Author(s): J B Stulberg
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Vermont Law School
South Royalton, VT 05068
Sale Source: Vermont Law School
Dispute Resolution Project
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The adversarial system, embodied in legal training, contains five principles which serve as substantial barriers to lawyer participation in alternate dispute resolution processes.
Abstract: A typical case for mediation might involve neighbors for whom a minor disagreement cannot be resolved between themselves or forgotten. When these persons come to a justice center they meet with a trained mediator who assists them in developing acceptable solutions to the problem. If the parties are successful, they negotiate terms of an agreement in the form of a legally enforceable contract. This process is quite different from the adversarial system to which lawyers are accustomed. Legal training and adversarial system principles preclude discussion of issues priorities, establishes the superior rank of legal rights, ascribes fault and liability, establishes a relationship between a client's interests and his legal rights, and has an aura of professionalism which stigmatizes alternate dispute resolution processes. Adherence to these principles effectively bars a lawyer from participation in the process. The author suggests that total adherence to the adversary system does not aid the citizenry because there is no mechanism for dealing with clashes between diverse lifestyles. An appended discussion focuses on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and the protection of rights.
Index Term(s): Accusatorial systems; Alternative dispute settlement; Conflict resolution; Dispute processing; Dispute resolution; Legal training; Neighborhood justice centers
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