The 1990s may be the decade in which the courts bring alternative dispute resolution "in house." Professor Owen Fiss' nightmare that private settlement will rob courts of cases for the dispensation of justice and the furtherance of societal goals3 has become Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow's foreboding that the courts will "co-opt" and drain the life from true alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes.4 It may be argued that appellate court-sponsored settlement programs dodge both of these criticisms because parties have had a day in court, the process is a form of mediation, and the settlement is thus final only if the parties agree to settle and because appellate settlement programs may in fact provide a much-needed education for attorneys about the workings and benefits of ADR.
Susan A. FitzGibbon,
Appellate Settlement Conference Programs: A Case Study,
1993 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol1993/iss1/5