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Abstract

It has become fashionable, if it was not always, to find fault with the legal system and those who operate it. For people seeking alternatives to, or substitutes for, the traditional system of justice, mediation and other nonlitigation processes are appealing.' As a general proposition, we are neither advocates for nor opponents of mediation as a process for handling and resolving disputes. Our experiences in observing mediations and in mediating have led us to conclude that there are appropriate and inappropriate uses of mediation as there are appropriate and inappropriate uses of other processes including litigation. Indeed, one of our goals in teaching law students to mediate is to provide future lawyers a framework in which to diagnose problems and to evaluate the appropriate applications and limitations of all dispute resolution processes. 2

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