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Copyright (c) 2002 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution

ARTICLE: The Impact of Mediation on State Courts


17 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 627


Douglas A. Van Epps *


A common assumption regarding the mediation of matters in litigation is that mediation holds the potential to clear court dockets, ostensibly so that matters more deserving of trial are able to reach adjudication. From the perspective of court administration, the Author suggests that while mediation has not yet produced this result, the adoption of mediation practice in the court environment has been a significant catalyst in the emergence of a new judicial culture. This Article also speculates about the impact mediation may have on the court environment in the future, particularly in light of the ability of technology to increase litigants' awareness of courts' dispute resolution processes and their attendant risk factors. Finally, at a time when only a few percent of cases go to trial, questions are raised regarding the role of legal education in training lawyers to practice collaborative dispute resolution, more appropriately managing clients' disputes in light of a trial being unlikely, and the relevance of promoting as a predominant dispute resolution model the adversarial management of conflict through the courts.


A key aspect of Professor Frank Sander's Pound Conference work was the suggestion that with an upward spiral of court filings, mediation might be one means to address docket management concerns. 1 Two propositions were housed in this single thought. First was the assumption that the then escalation of case filings would increase further, although not without some cap. The second assumption was that by resolving ...
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