The Macomb County Bar Association’s ADR Committee, at the suggestion of Judge John Foster, Macomb County’s Chief Judge and appointed Specialized Business Court Judge, has compiled a comprehensive Taxonomy of ADR. The Taxonomy is organized to explore three different ADR techniques: adjudicative, evaluative and facilitative. Each technique describes the associated ADR processes.
The Taxonomy also provides a number of forms and checklists for consideration by counsel and the judiciary.
Because of the length of the Taxonomy in discussing twenty different ADR practices, there is also a Summary Grid that captures the essential characteristics of each practice and the settings when the various processes may be most efficacious or possibly contraindicated.
The objectives of the ADR Committee in compiling the Taxonomy was to identify the rich diversity of ADR techniques that the Bench and the Bar might tailor, stage and “right size” to meet the particular needs of the parties; to describe those ADR techniques and the settings in which they might be most effective; and, to encourage creativity by the Bar in employing those ADR techniques that best serve their client’s needs.
Recognizing the incredibly rich diversity of ADR processes that have proven effective in a myriad of litigation settings, the Macomb County Bar Association ADR Committee has compiled A Taxonomy of ADR.
There has been a significant body of literature describing the “Dispute Resolution Continuum.” On this continuum, which spans “meet and confer” discussions attended only by the disputants to a traditional jury trail, various processes along the continuum can be tailored to meet the specific needs of virtually any client or dispute.
The Taxonomy describes twenty different ADR techniques along the “dispute resolution continuum.” When considering which ADR technique(s) identified in the Taxonomy to select, the decision involves (1) a determination of the client’s goal in the process selected and (2) the degree of control the disputants desire to maintain over process and outcome. Once these determinations are made, it is much easier to select the correct ADR strategy and the most effective timing of ADR events.
The adjudicative processes described in the Taxonomy include:
- Domestic Relations Arbitration
- Practice pointers under the recently enacted Revised Uniform Arbitration Act
- A review of the various Mediation-Arbitration Hybrids
- Fast Track/Expedited Jury Trials (see related post)
- Special Magistrates
- Friend of the Court Referee Hearings
- Dispute Resolution Boards
Among the evaluative processes discussed are:
- Summary Jury Trials
- Early Neutral Fact Finding
- Early Neutral Evaluation
- Hot Tubbing (it is not what you might think and is extremely effective in those cases involving a “battle of the experts”)
- Case Evaluation
- Moderated Settlement Conferences
The facilitative processes that are explored are:
- Meet and Confer techniques
- Collaborative Practices
- Friend of the Court Conciliation
- Dispute Resolution Advisors
- Early Intervention Conferences
There is also a section devoted to the services that are provided by the Macomb County Dispute Resolution Center.
The benefits of Dispute Resolution Advisors were described in the June DRS Newsletter and the Taxonomy expands on the potential benefits and settings in which a Dispute Resolution Advisor might be most beneficial to the parties to a dispute and an effective cost saving device.
Included among the forms and checklists appended to the Taxonomy are: the Macomb County LAO on Specialized Business Courts (must reading for anyone who will have a business case in Macomb County); a sample agreement between counsel to mediate early and the provisions to consider when entering into such an agreement; a sample ADR Decision Making Grid; a sample Arbitration Agreement; a sample Mediation-Arbitration Agreement; a sample Order Appointing a Special Master; a Summary Jury Trial check list; a sample Meet and Confer contractual provision; a sample Collaborative Practice Agreement; a short article for litigants on how to maximize the potential for a successful mediation, a sample agreement to mediate with confidentiality provisions; and a Sample Order to Mediate.
In sum, in compiling the Taxonomy it was the intent of the Macomb County ADR Committee to provide the Bench and the Bar with a potential resource and a wealth of information on ADR that is clearly worthy of consideration.
There will be at least two ways to obtain a copy of the Taxonomy on ADR. Within the next two weeks a pdf copy will be on the web site (hurfordresolution.com) that you will be free to down load. However, the best way may be to attend a program on November 4, 2013 in the Macomb County Circuit Court Jury Room that will be hosted by the Macomb County Bar Association ADR Committee. The program will start at noon and conclude at approximately 1:00 p.m.
During this program Judge Foster will discuss the practices and experience of the Macomb County Business Court, the recently approved Macomb County Business Court Local Administrative Order, and the anticipated best practices that will have an impact on all counsel who appear in the Business Court. Judge Foster will also address how alternative dispute resolution will be incorporated into the case management plans established by the Macomb County Business Court.
During this program there will also be a discussion of the Taxonomy of ADR. While copies last, a copy of the Taxonomy will be made available to all who register for the program.
The program is free and to register you simply RSVP to the Macomb County Bar Association Office at (586) 468-2940 or sign up at macombbar.org by October 22, 2013.
We hope you will be able to attend what will prove to be a most informative and interesting program.