The United States Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy's Office of Dispute Resolution released its "Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report."  The report shows the effects of alternative dispute resolution processes as reported by DOJ attorneys. Among the findings:

  • DOJ attorneys estimate they avoided litigation expenses of more than $70 million;
  • Settlements were better than the expected value of trial in 72% of settled cases;
  • Additional benefits--such as the resolution of discovery disputes--occurred even when cases did not ultimately settle.

The DOJ's statistical summary shows that DOJ attorneys and staff saved 26,388 days of trial preparation, avoided 2,733 months of litigation (the amount of time cases would have remained on a docket), and saved 2,460 months of actual trial time in 2016 because of ADR.

In those cases that did not resolve through ADR, DOJ attorneys reported that ADR was still beneficial:

  • Improved understanding of issues--44%
  • Progress toward settlement--29%
  • Progress toward policy objectives--29%
  • Improved communication--28%
  • Narrowed issues for trial--13%
  • Narrowed discovery issues--8%

Thanks to Mike Amis for bringing this report to our attention.