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Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr.

Collaborative Lawyer

Mediator and Arbitrator

8080 Park Lane, Suite 750

Dallas, Texas 75231

Phone: 214-534-8162


Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) – Turning Problems Into Opportunities

The Problem

Texas Dispute Resolution - Arm Wrestle - Dallas TX - Larry Maxwell

Today’s litigious society has created significant problems for businesses and organizations, as well as individuals and families. Untold amounts of money are spent in the litigation process on discovery and pre-trial motions in preparation for trial. However, research shows that over 95% of all lawsuits settle prior to trial.

For some disputes, trials will be the only means for resolution. However, in most situations, alternative methods for resolving disputes are available, and should be the first option for resolution, with the courthouse as the last resort.

The idea of resolving disputes through negotiation and dialogue is certainly not new to lawyers. In 1850, Abraham Lincoln in his Notes for a Law Lecture, advised young lawyers:

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution includes a variety of processes for settling disputes by means other than litigation. People involved in disputes generally want to avoid litigation and resolve their dispute quickly. They want to control costs, scheduling and outcomes, avoid publicity and maintain relationships.

Texas Dispute Resolution - Larry Maxwell - Dallas TX

ADR processes are more focused on problem solving than the litigation process, and are generally less expensive, less painful, less destructive and more expedient and efficient than litigation.

Most ADR processes employ interest based negotiations rather than rights based or positional bargaining as in litigation. ADR processes are voluntary and confidential. Parties are able to control costs, scheduling, and outcomes. In face-to-face meetings parties are able to craft creative solutions that meet as many of their goals, interests and concerns as possible.

ADR attorneys are problem solvers, who view a dispute as a problem to be solved, not a battle to be won. They assist clients in meeting their goals and interests, resolving disputes ethically, with civility and professionalism, as quickly, peacefully and economically as possible.

Several years ago, United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner set forth the proper function of the courts and an appropriate timeline for resolving disputes:

The courts of this country should not be the place where resolution of conflict begins. They should be places where disputes end, after alternate methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried.


Larry Maxwell brings to the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution over forty years of civil trial and appellate experience. Over the years he has become keenly aware of the economic and often times emotional strain on the parties in the litigation process. He views ADR processes not as substitutes for trial in court, rather as efficient, expedient and economical methods of resolving disputes outside of the courthouse.

Alternative Dispute Resolution processes enable individuals, families, businesses and organizations to maintain control over their relationships with others, by empowering them with knowledge and services to expedite the resolution of disputes.

An ADR attorney believes that clients should be fully informed regarding all settlement options available to resolve their dispute. When an appropriate process is selected, ADR attorneys encourage clients to have an active role in all decision making relating to the terms of their settlement.

Larry has extensive training in ADR processes, and is skilled in utilizing all of the tools in the ADR toolbox, to assist clients in resolving their disputes. He has a wide background in the practice of law, and proper demeanor and temperament to efficiently and economically assist clients in resolving all types of disputes. Larry truly enjoys working with clients to craft creative solutions that result in “win-win” situations, rather than “win-lose” situations which are inevitable in the litigation process.

My joy was boundless. I had lernt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties driven asunder. The session was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of the twenty years of my practice of law was occupied in bringing about private compromises in hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby – not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mohandas K. Gandhi