When the current ADR revolution was first building up a head of steam in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the main attractions of both arbitration and mediation was the opportunity to reduce the costs of resolving disputes. Corporate America, especially, felt that there had to be a more efficient way to resolve costly disputes, the vast majority of which were ultimately settled anyway. ADR processes came galloping to the rescue as the knights in cost-saving armor.

In the early years, corporations would often quantify their cost savings and boast that they got the same end result as produced by litigation but much more economically by using ADR processes. Over a period of time, however, other benefits of both arbitration and mediation began to take center stage. Mediation allowed for more party control and confidentiality than litigation, while allowing parties to focus on their real interests rather than simply their legal positions; most importantly, it allowed for win-win situations whereby combatants could preserve business relationships and continue to work together.

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