This report by the 16-member Law and Public Policy Committee of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) is the result of 19 months of study and debate of the issues raised by the use of mandatory dispute resolution and settlement coercion. Committee members are practitioners, program directors, social science researchers and academics working in a variety of dispute resolution sectors. With financial assistance from a National Institute for Dispute Resolution grant, the members-from throughout the U.S.-gathered for group discussion on five occasions. They also received comments and suggestions from SPIDR members at the organization's last two annual meetings. This report is the first of a series of committee statements on legal and public policy issues. The committee next will report on issues emerging in relations between public and private sectors in dispute resolution. SPIDR is an 1,800-member group with headquarters in Washington.