Court Information Office
Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
For Immediate Release
(BALTIMORE, MD-December 4, 2002) The Maryland Judiciary is partnering with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce to conduct a benchmark study detailing how Maryland businesses use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes to resolve employment and business disputes, and what results they are achieving by doing so. This comprehensive study will build on a 1997 Cornell University survey of more than 530 U.S. corporations in the Fortune 1000 category, which found 90 percent of the survey respondents reporting that they viewed mediation as a cost-saving measure.
"The Cornell Study indicated that many large national and multinational corporations are
using ADR processes, and are experiencing time and cost savings as a result," says Maryland
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell. "To serve as an effective dispute resolution
resource for the business community, as well as for the courts and the public, our Mediation and
Conflict Resolution Office [MACRO] wants to assess where Maryland businesses stand." The benchmark study will be headed by MACRO's ADR Business Initiative, chaired by Robert S. Fleishman of Constellation Energy. During the first phase of the study, legal experts, human resources, and conflict resolution professionals in more than 500 Maryland businesses will be surveyed about what types of ADR processes, such as mediation and arbitration, they utilize. Other phases of the study will include:
model," says Fleishman. "Our research will examine organizational cultures and the internal
support systems, structures and evaluation mechanisms needed to maintain successful dispute
Kathleen T. Snyder, President/CEO of the Maryland Chamber, says that the tangible and
intangible costs of conflict have become a major concern to Maryland businesses that see
growing incidents of employee, consumer, subcontractor and vendor disputes. Snyder adds that
she often sees these disputes "escalate into time-consuming and unpredictable lawsuits.
"Defending a lawsuit can be very costly, win or lose," she says, "and losing one brought
for complaints like wrongful termination, sexual harassment, negligence, or breach of contract
could be enough to break a small or moderate-sized business."
The study's final report is anticipated for release in the summer of 2003. To obtain more
information about the study, please contact Leonard Howie, MACRO's evaluations director, at
# # # # #