A Cultural Change - The Business and Legal Communities Look to ADR- Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 51, No. 2
The author is the current chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s ADR Committee; past chair of the ADR Committee of the State Bar of Michigan International Law Section and past chair of the State Bar of Michigan Computer Law Section. He is a principal at the Birmingham, Michigan, firm of Wright, Goldstein & Schwartz, concentrating in the resolution of complex commercial disputes through ADR and litigation, and serving as a commercial mediator and arbitrator. He writes and lectures frequently on the subject of ADR and conflict management.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
It’s time for a change, says Steven Schwartz. Being a participant in a system in which “delay, expense and uncertainty make the victor frequently indistinguishable from the vanquished” is no longer providing the satisfaction that it once did to lawyers and certainly not to the disputants. ADR may be the answer for all of the parties involved, including the courts, says Schwartz.
On a warm evening, several summers ago, I found myself traveling in my brother-in-law’s car toward Tiger Stadium. He had thoughtfully invited me to come along to the “ole ball park” to watch our local heroes play the national pastime while we sampled the hot dogs, foamy libations, peanuts and crackerjacks. As we moved from the suburban surroundings of Oakland County onto the southbound Lodge expressway, our conversation turned to the Tigers’ performance to date, pitching, hitting, fielding, catching and the like. Seemingly, without realizing it, our conversation turned from a friendly discussion to a spirited banter and, finally, into pointed debate. By the time we made our exit to the ballpark, things had gotten quite testy. Not until we were safely in our seats, with food in our laps (and my ball glove tucked safely under the seat), did our conversation shift from near confrontation to enjoyment of the game starting on the grassy, diamond-shaped field before us.
Later that evening, after camaraderie had been restored by reason of the Tigers’ miraculous vanquishing of the visiting team and my brother-in-law had returned me to my subdivision residence, did I realize how close to an open blood feud we had come.