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ARTICLES

Neutral Corner: Why did trials ‘vanish,’ and what is the lesson for mediation?

In his article, “The Disappearance of Civil Trial in the United States,” Yale Law School professor John H. Langbein explored the factors leading to civil trials having all but “vanished.” He concluded that the largest single cause of the decline in the number of jury trials was the robust and extensive fact discovery promoted, if not mandated, by the adoption of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
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Van Winkle: Joint sessions in mediation facilitate settlement

As the mediation process has evolved, one of the most significant changes is the trend in many jurisdictions, and among many lawyers and mediators, to dispense with the initial joint session. Perhaps because most of today’s litigators did not have experience with the pre-mediation settlement process, some of the fundamental factors and dynamics that make the joint session important in the settlement process are not evident.
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Neutral Corner: lessons from golf for mediation

The preamble to the mediation rule could have easily provided, as do the rules of golf, that the mediation rules are guided by the historical principles of the legal profession and the importance that mediation be conducted with integrity and in accordance with these principles.
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