ADR Expands into the American Territories & Beyond
Recently the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs hosted a two-day Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference. The aim of the event was to educate judges and legal professionals from the Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and other countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America, about establishing alternative dispute resolution techniques.
Throughout the conference, participants learned about ADR procedures to adopt in their own jurisdictions in order to efficiently resolve disputes and avoid costly litigation. Many of the panel discussions addressed the federal court systems and how certain countries approach and implement ADR. One encouraging takeaway for ADR came during the keynote address by Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. Her speech focused on the positive growth of ADR, and she called particular attention to the fact that judicial resources are limited even in the best of times. Attendees noted that with the growing costs of litigation and overcrowded courts, providing a cost effective and efficient process is crucial in today’s legal environment and the global economy.
As ADR continues to grow and become more accessible and affordable, it is imperative to have the support of judicial representatives such as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.
It is also exciting to see the growth of ADR in places such as Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and others, and the programs they are developing to bring dispute resolution into their legal systems. We are looking forward to working alongside their judicial leaders, learn from one another and help continue to develop these processes.
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