As a strong advocate of ADR and a practitioner of the art I thought this quote from former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger’s about litigation in the U.S. deserved a whole blog to itself:
‘The entire legal profession – lawyers, judges, law professors – has become so mesmerized with the stimulation of the courtroom contest that we tend to forget that we ought to be healers of conflicts…
For many claims, trials by adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people.
Doctors, in spite of astronomical medical costs, still retain a high degree of public confidence, because they are perceived as healers. Should lawyers not be healers? Healers, not warriors? Healers, not procurers? Healers, not hired guns?’
- Annual address to the America Bar Association winter convention, Las Vegas (February 12, 1984).
This came to me from a piece published by Lexology on dispute resolution in the construction industry in the US by law firm Duane Morris which you can read here. Burger J retired in 1986…how long will it take to get the message!!