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Uniformity in ADR: Thoughts on the Uniform Arbitration Act and Uniform Mediation Act


John M. McCabe

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Private resolution of disputes, now thought of as alternate dispute resolution, has a lengthy history in American law. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform States Laws (NCCUSL) has been a contributor to that history for about as long as there has been a history, promulgating the first uniform law on arbitration in 1925. Today the Conference continues its commitment to private dispute resolution with a new momentum, having recently completed its most comprehensive revision of the Uniform Arbitration Act, and having completed its first Uniform Mediation Act. Both acts are important to the way that American law is being practiced today, and increasingly to the way it will be practiced in the future. For this reason, they have been carefully drafted to nestle the arbitration and mediation processes comfortably within the law, and to enhance rather than constrain the robust use of these processes. Crucially, however, these acts also preserve the basic values of fundamental fairness that participants in those processes, and our society at large, have come to reasonably expect.

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