Escaping the Courthouse

Private Alternative Dispute Resolution in Los Angeles

by Elizabeth S. Rolph, Erik Moller, Laura Petersen


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This study profiles private alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Los Angeles. The study focused on all civil money suits in Los Angeles county in 1992 and 1993. Data came from interviews with six of the most active private ADR organizations, a survey of third-party neutrals offering services, and the Los Angeles County Superior Court case records. The study found that private ADR is a small, but growing segment of the Los Angeles market and has the potential to reduce court workload. Private ADR is attracting substantial numbers of judges at retirement age. Because nearly half the private ADR cases are automobile personal injury disputes, private ADR is probably not currently reducing the courts’ ability to set precedents through the public decision process. Providers of ADR services have substantial training and experience. Private ADR is serving individuals, business, and especially insurers. Most private ADR users choose arbitration, but mediation is receiving an increasing number of disputes.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Los Angeles’ Private ADR Marketplace — An Overview

  • Chapter Three

    The Demand Side: Disputes and Disputants

  • Chapter Four

    The Product: Private ADR Procedures

  • Chapter Five

    Service Providers: Third-Party Neutrals

  • Chapter Six

    Findings, Discussion, and Future Research

  • Appendix A

    Data Collection

  • Appendix B

    Survey Instrument

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