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Abstract

In this article, we describe the development and implementation of an innovative Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program that uses neutral adjudicators to minimize lawsuits between Toyota Motor Sales, USA and its automobile dealerships. The Toyota Reversal Arbitration Board [hereinafterRAB] has several distinguishing characteristics. First, while many forms of ADR seek to shift the focus of disputes away from formal rules, the Toyota RAB was specifically designed to convey and enforce organizational rules. Second, an aspect of organizational decision making is entrusted to neutral, outside adjudicators trained as specialists in the rules and the context out of which disputes arise. Third, the program involves an asymmetrically binding process: Toyota is bound by the decision of the neutral, while dealer disputants still have recourse to the legal system if they are unhappy with the process or outcome

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