Copyright (c) 1999 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
RECENT RESEARCH: The State of the States in Environmental Dispute Resolution
14 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 515
Rosemary O'Leary, Tracy Yandle, and Tamilyn Mooreb *
"Don't litigate, mediate" has been one of the slogans frequently heard by environmental officials across the United States for the last twenty years. This has occurred as perceptions of the negatives associated with adversarial legalism have grown. Frustrated with the costs, delay, and feelings of loss of control that often accompany litigation, many people in both the regulatory and regulated communities have turned to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques and approaches to resolve environmental disputes. Proponents of ADR have seen it as a faster, less costly, more accessible, and more certain way than lawsuits to resolve their disputes. 1
This Article reports the findings of a national survey of environmental dispute resolution (EDR) programs in every state, as well as in the District of Columbia. During the summer and fall of 1998, state environmental and dispute resolution officials were telephoned by researchers from the Indiana Conflict Resolution Institute (ICRI) and asked a set of common questions concerning the scope and status of their EDR programs, if any. Interviews averaged one hour in length, and for many states there were multiple interviews with multiple officials. Based on these telephone interviews, state summaries were written that highlight the status of each state's program or programs, lessons learned, and sources of additional information. State officials had opportunities to comment both on draft state summaries and on the final summaries and often offered clarifying facts and insights for which we are extremely grateful. Any errors or oversights are ours alone. ...
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