Every February, Americans are privileged to celebrate the birthdays of two of our greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Both served during war, but undoubtedly each would have preferred a peaceful resolution to the problem of his times.
Washington was a soldier who led many battles. Yet, he wrote to a friend, “Unhappy it is, though, to reflect that a brother’s sword has been sheathed in a brother’s breast, and the once happy plains of America are either to be drenched with blood or inhabited by slaves. Sad alternative.”
Lincoln, one of the most prominent attorneys of his time before he became president, has been quoted as saying to lawyers, “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has the superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”
I have been a litigation lawyer fro more than 25 years and I have seen that litigation seldom produces any real winners. More often than not, both sides spend a tremendous amount of energy and money and seldom get the satisfaction or result that they anticipated. This is especially so in situations where there will be a continuing relationship between the parties after the litigation has ended, such as in family and divorce matters, business partners, neighbors, landlords and tenants, and apartment owners and their coop or condo boards. Any dispute, but especially these types of conflicts, are best resolved peacefully and respectfully through Mediation or Collaborative Law Practice , usually referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
- With ADR, disputants can fashion their own solutions by mutual consent without orders from a third party such as a judge.
- Additionally, their chances of being able to work together and resolve future problems in a civilized, peaceful, economical and respectful manner are greatly enhanced.