21st Century Pledge Toolkit

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CPR’S 21ST CENTURY PLEDGE TOOLKIT FOR EARLY DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The Business Case for Early Resolution of Claims

Fewer than two percent of all cases filed in court are tried to final judgment. In litigation, time is money and it is in the parties' interests to minimize the amount expended in transactional costs—including counsel and expert fees and discovery costs. Settlements struck on the courthouse steps are often less favorable than settlements obtained earlier in the process and the transactions costs of waiting to the eve of trial can more than offset any perceived benefit of later settlement. Time spent by business on litigation is time taken from focusing on the core business.

THE CPR TOOLKIT FOR EARLY DISPUTE RESOLUTION assists companies to develop a disciplined framework within which business can consistently achieve more efficient and cost-effective resolution of disputes, both before and after a case has been initiated. The Toolkit has numerous core elements:

  • The 21st Century Pledge itself, which, through the commitment to resolve disputes through ADR processes when appropriate, serves as a “neutral” basis for beginning negotiations with the other party without any implications of weakness or fault. [CPR 21st Century Pledge; see also CPR Pledge—Tab 1] 
  • The CPR Toolkit also provides an overview of CPR’s ADR 101 resource and a link to more information on core arbitration and mediation processes. [ADR 101—Tab 2] 
  • Whenever possible, incorporation of an Early Resolution process in any contractual agreements of a type that may result in disputes. Where that is not possible, a commitment to transform standard court-adjunct mediation (which is now nearly universal) into a substantive Early Resolution process using skilled settlement counsel and/or mediators. [CPR Model EDR Process Overview/Rollout—Tab 3; CPR Model Clauses—Tab 4; Economical Litigation Agreement—Tab 5] 
  • Early Case Assessment to analyze the strengths and weaknesses and financial implications of a claim at its inception. The results of the Early Case Assessment form the foundation of the strategic plan for the case, including identification of necessary information exchange, identification of any issues that may require a decision prior to Early Resolution efforts, optimal timing of Early Resolution efforts, and the form of Early Resolution (negotiation or mediation) most likely to result in the desired outcome. [CPR Corporate Early Case Assessment (ECA) Toolkit—Tab 6; CPR Suitability Guide—Tab 7; ECA Executive Summary—Tab 8] 
  • Limited Early Information Exchange designed to assure that both parties have sufficient information upon which to reach Early Resolution. [Sample Agreement—Tab 9; for other examples, see CPR Economical Litigation Agreement—Tab 4 and CPR Arbitration Procedures and Related Materials—Tab 10] 
  • Initiation of an Early Resolution process leveraging the results of the Early Case Assessment and Early Information Exchange and using skilled settlement counsel and/or a mediator to maximize the likelihood of success. [CPR Mediation Procedure— Tab 11; See discussion of roles and approaches in the CPR Corporate Early Case Assessment Toolkit—Tab 6 and Success Stories—Tab 12]

CPR members have full access to the materials described above, as well as the complete set of protocols, tools and other resources developed by CPR to enable members to achieve the best and most efficient approach to dispute resolution for their organization. [See Resources for Navigating Complex Business Disputes (A Continuum of ADR Best Practices)—Tab 13; Index to CPR Web-Based Resources—Tab 14]

The information and resources on this website should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, or as a substitute for the advice of counsel.