Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
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Other Dispute Resolution Methods to Save Time and Money
ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 16, 2004)—A new study released today by the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce indicates that in-state companies recognize the costs of conflict and are turning to mediation and other non-litigious dispute resolution processes to save time and money.
“In recent years, the Judiciary has taken steps to expedite high-cost business cases, and courts across the state are increasingly using mediation and other dispute resolution processes to resolve cases short of trial,” said Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. “Our hope is that Maryland businesses will use this study as a blueprint to refine their approach to conflict management.”
The study was conducted by MACRO’s Business Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Initiative to provide a benchmark from which organizations can assess the effectiveness of their dispute resolution practices against the components of an Integrated Conflict Management System. Such a system: (1) establishes dispute resolution options for all types of problems and all people in the workplace; (2) creates a culture that welcomes dissent and encourages resolution of conflict at the earliest possible time; (3) provides multiple access points to dispute resolution resources; (4) presents multiple options for addressing conflict; and (5) establishes systemic support structures.
“This study is our first major attempt to assess the Maryland business community’s perspectives on the universe of available conflict management approaches,” said Bob Fleishman, Chair of MACRO’s Business ADR Initiative. “Our team worked very hard in recent years to get the word out in the business community that effective conflict management saves time and money and preserves relationships.”
Based on extensive survey research and analysis, the study’s main recommendations emphasize the importance of:
The comprehensive study builds 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 same study indicated that corporations with comprehensive, collaborative conflict management systems report significant litigation cost savings. More recently, the American Arbitration Association published a study titled “Dispute-Wise Management: Improving Economic and Non-Economic Outcomes in Managing Business Conflicts.” That study confirms that major corporations use ADR extensively, with the most “dispute-wise” companies taking a systemic approach to conflict management.
For more information or to obtain a copy of the study, please call MACRO at 410/841-2260 or visit their website.
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