Commitment. The chances of success for any type of ADR are quite slim, unless both parties are committed to the idea and willing to act in good faith. A dishonest, tenacious or suspicious dispute about a procedure that does not face litigation is not a promising candidate for ADR. (The only method that can sometimes be successful, even if a party is opposed to ADR, is mediation, for the very good reason that disputants, during mediation, retain control of an essentially informal process that does not require a prior obligation of result.) The Rent-a-Judge program is a new variant of the arbitration procedure in which the parties to the dispute choose a retired judge to hear their case as an arbitrator. Retired judges are sometimes also employed in traditional arbitration, but the Rent-a-Judge program uses normal court procedures (sometimes modified by disputants). In addition, the judge`s decision by law has the legal status of a real court decision. The experiment has had considerable success and acceptance in the jurisdictions where it has been allowed, particularly in California, but it is too early to say how widespread it will be. Since there is no need to wait for a hearing or conduct the proceedings in public, the program buys a lot of time and privacy. However, some observers are concerned when it comes to following a path that could lead to a formally sanctioned class of justice, which is only available to those who can pay for it. The modern American manager must operate in such a contradictory legal system, with all its complications and formalities. And yet, there may be more similarities between the marital dispute in the Middle East and the American economic conflict than one might think. Long-term business relationships can be as valuable to a company as long-term personal relationships with people`s lives. Breaking up the two can be devastating.
Moreover, in both situations, the resolution process itself may take a heavy toll from participants if creative methods of dispute resolution have no chance. But perhaps the most important parallel is that the modern manager can follow the example of priests to find a better way. One known case of successful minitrial involved Allied Corporation and Shell Oil. After five or six years of litigation over a contractual dispute, Shell finally filed a lawsuit. Four years later, the lawyer`s fees had consumed hundreds of thousands of dollars and the preliminary discovery was not over. Lawyers for both companies decided to use the mini-procedure to resolve the case without trial. After a brief hearing, the parties almost immediately put an end to the decade-old dispute. We can only assume the time, money and grief that would have been avoided if we had attempted a minitrial years before. Mini-tribal formats vary a bit, but usually, a senior executive on either side of the dispute, as well as a neutral advisor, sometimes a former judge, but often a non-judicial expert are the subject of the competition. In order to minimize the role of emotions and facial preservation, the two leaders should not have been directly involved in the creation or attempt to resolve the case, and they must have either the power of comparison or at least a significant influence on the transaction decision. First, the parties agree to submit to the judgment of the International Court of Justice all international disputes that may arise between them and concerning the interpretation of a treaty, any question of international law, the existence of an act constituting a breach of an international obligation and the nature or extent of compensation for breach of an international obligation (Article 1).
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