Summary of "Dispute Resolution"

Summary of

Dispute Resolution

By Stephen Goldberg, Frank Sander and Nancy Rogers

Summary written by Conflict Research Consortium Staff

Citation: Dispute Resolution, Stephen Goldberg, Frank Sander and Nancy Rogers, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company). 6th Edition (2012) available at

Dispute Resolution is a comprehensive introduction to dispute resolution processes. Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration and their applications are discussed, particularly within a legal context.

Dispute Resolution will be of interest to those who seek to understand dispute resolution procedures, particularly from a legal perspective. This work is divided into twelve chapters in five parts, with three appendices. Generally, each chapter will included questions and exercises for the reader. Part One provides an overview of dispute resolution procedures. Part Two discusses the processes of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration in further detail. Part Three discusses the place of dispute resolution in the justice system. Part Four explores the application of dispute resolution procedures to family, public and international disputes. Part Five discusses dispute systems design and implementation. Appendices present the ABA standards for lawyer mediators in family disputes, the code of professional conduct from the Colorado Council of Mediation Organizations, and model dispute resolution clauses.

Part One introduces the topic of dispute resolution. It provides an overview of various dispute resolution process, and discusses the sources and goals of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) movement. A list of evaluative questions is suggested.

Part Two focuses on particular forms of dispute resolution. Chapter Two discusses negotiation, emphasizing the competitive model of negotiation. This chapter consists primarily of excerpts from the works of many prominent authors. Excerpted selections from such authors as Ury, Lax and Sebenius, White, and Rubin provide tactical advice on improving one's negotiating style. Chapter Three describes mediation. It first discusses the practice of mediation, through excerpts from Rogers and Salem, Fisher and Ury, Honeyman, Knebel and Clay. It assesses social, legal and public perspectives on mediation, and discusses regulatory standards and enforcement mechanisms. Lastly the issue of confidentiality is considered. Chapter Four discusses arbitration. It discusses the relative merits of arbitration and adjudication, and discusses legal precedent regarding arbitration, focusing on the Supreme Court's ruling in Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. Finally, Chapter Five explores hybrid processes. This chapter describes common variants of arbitration, mini-trials, summary jury trials, and the use of an ombudsman.

Part Three, Chapter Six, discusses the place of dispute resolution in the justice system. Five forms of court referred ADR are described: court-annexed arbitration, early neutral evaluation, summary jury trial, mediation, and special master mediation. Issues surrounding mandatory participation and pressures to settle are explored. The issue of public access to court-connected processes of dispute resolution is also considered.

Part Four describes the application of resolution processes to specific types of disputes. Chapter Seven focuses on family disputes through excerpts from authors Haynes, Folberg, Crouch, and Lerman. Chapter Eight explores public disputes with excerpts from Susskind, Cruikshank and McMahon. Chapter Nine discusses international disputes, drawing on the work of Adler, Rubin and Sandler, and Ex-President Carter.

Part Five discusses the dispute system's design and implementation. Chapter Ten focuses on systems design. Goldberg, Brett and Ury offer guidelines for designing effective systems, and follow with a family dispute case study by Kelly. Chapter Eleven focuses on the institutionalization of dispute resolution systems, specifically of ADR in the justice system. It first examines barriers to the use of ADR, and offers suggestions for overcoming those barriers. It then moves on to consider implementation issues. Taxonomic criteria for classifying disputes and for determining the appropriate resolution process are described. Enforcement of dispute resolution clauses is explored. The issue of client representation in dispute resolution proceedings is considered. Chapter Twelve concludes this text with a series of dispute resolution exercises, in the form of practice cases.

Dispute Resolution is a thorough and detailed introduction to dispute resolution processes, particularly within a legal context. While primarily intended for students with a legal background, this text is accessible to the intelligent lay reader.