Increase Your Dispute Resolution IQ


August 2020

A basic tenet of the adversary system, and therefore Trial Practice 101, is that true justice requires ardently protected positions, the clash of proofs, and a passive, neutral jurist who presides over it all as the parties (or their champions) exert themselves in all-but-bloodless combat. Coming from this school of thought, many lawyers encounter Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) only after they come to question the wisdom of the adversary system... then seek to learn the softer arts of negotiation and compromise. Courthouse Libraries BC (“CLBC”) has many primers (plus more advanced teachings) to guide this growth. Starting with books you can access online anywhere through CLBC’s Remote Access Subscriptions Database, consider Mediation for Civil Litigators, from Irwin and available through the deLibris platform link once you’ve logged in to the CLBC website. The handbook provides grounding and practical tips for successful negotiation and the mediation process — and it’s written with reformed trial warriors in mind.

From the CLBC’s print collection, consider checking out the 2020 edition of the British book Foskett on Compromise for some high grid analysis. The treatise includes content on the compromise of arbitrations, appeals, and compromises achieved through all forms of ADR. Foskett discusses the proper role of legal advisers (whether barrister, solicitor or other appropriate representative) in the process of compromise, including consideration of skills, responsibilities, obligations, and liabilities. For BC family practitioners and civil litigators alike, there’s a great chapter on interest-based negotiation (as opposed to position-based advocacy) in The Family Dispute Resolution Handbook, 6th Ed., which is available digitally in all of CLBC’s branches through Lexis Advance.