What is the Nature and Purpose of the CPR Pledge?
The CPR Pledge is not intended to impose judicially enforceable rights or obligations, nor does it constitute a waiver of any substantive or procedural right or obligation. Rather, the Pledge is a statement of policy aimed at encouraging greater use of flexible, creative and constructive approaches in resolving disputes.
Indeed, to focus on issues of “legal enforceability” really misses the entire point of the Pledge, which is meant to benefit signatories by signaling their mutual willingness to approach the resolution of disputes in constructive, reliable, and commercially rational ways that give them maximum control over the process, the outcome, and related costs. The beauty of the Pledge is that it gives businesses and their attorneys much greater flexibility in problem solving rather than tying their hands contractually. Companies can point to their adherence to the Pledge as symbolizing a corporate policy favoring appropriate use of face-to-face negotiation, interest-based bargaining, mediation, and other approaches.
Again, signing the Pledge does not mean a company will not seek to enforce legitimate rights or protect its vital interests in court or other fora. It simply lays the groundwork for signatories to avoid the expense, risk, and loss of control that usually comes with full-blown adjudication in the many cases where they are likely to see benefit in alternative courses.