BEFORE YOU SUE: How to Get Justice Without Going to Court by Fletcher & Gerald S. Clay Knebel

BEFORE YOU SUE: How to Get Justice Without Going to Court

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Thriller-novelist Knebel (Crossing in Berlin; coauthor, Seven Days in May; etc.) collaborates here with Clay, an attorney, to make a case for avoiding law suits through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The two-to-four-year average wait for a trial hearing, and the astronomical costs, sabotage the American litigant's efforts to avenge a trespass. Mediation and other ADR methods provide a shortcut to justice, often resulting in agreement between parties in about six weeks. Knebel and Clay narrate the separate but similiar stories of two businesswomen at odds with their relatives over business contracts. In one case, mediation quickly reunites brother and sister, and initiates a new and profitable business relationship between them. In the other case, the businesswoman slogs it through years of pain and legal fees only to settle moments before trial--as, the authors say, a majority of litigants do. The bad blood, never an issue in the lawsuit, went unhealed. Unfortunately, these stories inch forward with distracting details (""They drink some coffee from the law firm's coffee-maker and shortly after nine-thirty stroll three blocks over to the tall building. . .""), but the merits of mediation over litigation are well-illustrated, and supplemental material gives an overview of ADR, along with a directory of ADR centers and associations. Intended for the legal practitioner as much as for the layman, this book advocates a cause deserving of--and receiving--more attention.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1987
Publisher: Morrow