The demands placed on an overburdened civil justice system have helped to accelerate the evolution of ADR to the point where ADR now exists “almost as a parallel system of justice” existing in partnership with the courts. Both the courts and ADR have much to offer each other, says Justice Kathryn Werdegar, although their interdependency depends on their understanding and appreciation of their respective roles and responsibilities. Werdegar takes a look at how the smooth interaction between the two systems can lead to the desired goal of timely, economical and just resolution of legal disputes.
In little more than two decades, ADR has been transformed from a rather obscure, seldom-used instrument— a footnote, if you will, to conventional judicial litigation—into a major mechanism for resolving private disputes. ADR, with its wide array of services and providers, now exists almost as a parallel system of justice to our civil justice system.