Roger W. Kirst


The seventh amendment problem is not within the ADR procedures themselves, but rather in how ADR is integrated into the total system of formal dispute resolution. Proponents of ADR may not intend to destroy federal civil jury trial, but ADR could be a serious threat to the seventh amendment if alternative procedures supplant civil jury trial and leave the constitutional language as a hollow shell. On the other hand, substantial use of ADR would not necessarily threaten seventh amendment values if jury trial remains available; instead, ADR procedures in routine litigation might protect the role of the civil jury in nonroutine litigation. Current seventh amendment doctrine does not provide a complete frame-work for analyzing the serious issues raised by ADR. This article attempts to forecast and analyze the important effects, risks, or benefits of ADR for the seventh amendment. As a result there are more questions and tentative suggestions than firm conclusions



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