Michael F. Hoellering is general counsel of the American Arbitration Association. The speech on which this article is based was presented at the VII International Arbitration Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration held in Hamburg on lune 7-11, 1982.
It is argued by some that complex litigation cases involving mixed questions of fact and law are susceptible to more rapid resolution through a new form of conciliation, the mini-trial. In the process, summary presentations are made by lawyers and experts for the parties to representatives of top management with authority to settle the dispute. The success of the minitrial technique, however, is yet to be determined.
AIthough arbitration and conciliation are the most frequently used means of resolving commercial disputes, there are other, newer ways in which third-party assistance may be utilized by parties seeking to achieve an amicable resolution of their dispute. One method recently developed in the United States, to facilitate the settlement of high-risk, complex litigation cases, is the mini-trial.