The work of the Committee on ADR within Government Agencies, chaired
by Pamela Esterman and Charles Miller, is focused on the use of
alternatives to litigation and/or trial of disputes with federal, state,
and local agencies and municipalities, including (but not limited to)
disputes involving zoning, environmental, and similar issues.
Such alternatives include but are not limited to arbitration and
mediation. According to current statistics, a total of approximately
200,000 lawsuits are filed each year throughout the United States by or
against governmental entities at the federal, state and local levels.
Countless other disputes of this type are resolved prior to litigation.
Hence, there is an enormous opportunity for expanding the use of ADR
into these areas.
Currently, there is an ongoing project within this Committee, which
has received inputs from related Committees on arbitration, legislation
and ADR in the Courts, dealing with proposed legislation and court rules
for the introduction of plaintiff-initiated, court-mandated,
forum-administered arbitration of civil actions against the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia filed for judicial review of adverse administrative decisions
of the agency. If enacted, such legislation could serve as a template
for similar legislation in other government agency litigation