What Happens When Mediation is Institutionalized?: To the Parties, Practitioners and Host Institutions

James J. Alfini, South Texas College of Law Houston
John Barkai
Robert A. Baruch Bush
Michele Hermann
Jonathan Hyman
Kimberlee Kovach
Carol B. Liebman, Columbia Law School
Sharon Press
Leonard Riskin


The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Association of American Law Schools presented a program, at the 1994 AALS Conference, on the institutionalization of mediation – through court-connected programs and otherwise. The topic is an important one, because this phenomenon has become increasingly common. Moreover, the topic seemed especially appropriate for the 1994 program, since Florida – the host state for the conference – was one of the first states to adopt a comprehensive statute providing for court-ordered mediation (at the trial judge’s option) in civil disputes of all kinds. The move toward institutionalizing mediation has raised many questions, and the program mentioned was designed to highlight those questions, and provoke discussion. This article includes an edited transcript of the panelists’ comments.