Lawyers as Peacemakers:

The time has clearly come for lawyers to begin to emphasize their role as mediators, conciliators, and peacemakers – as counselors for what is right, not merely advocates for what is legally possible. Lawyers must begin to take advantage of alternatives to litigation for dispute resolution . . . Lawyers need to remind themselves that the courtroom is often not a place conducive to peacemaking or conflict healing, yet peacemaking and conflict healing are first obligation of our profession.

James G. Exum, Jr. Chief Justice
North Carolina Supreme Court (1986-1994)

Collaboration and Compromise:

Over the next generation, I predict, society’s greatest opportunities will lie in tapping human inclinations towards collaboration and compromise rather than stirring our proclivities for competition and rivalry. If lawyers are not the leaders in marshaling cooperation and designing mechanisms that allow it to flourish, they will not be at the center of the most creative social experiments of our time.

Derek Bok, former Dean of Harvard Law School
and President of Harvard University

Costly, Painful and Destructive Litigation System:

“We must move away from total reliance on the adversary contest for resolving all disputes. For some disputes, trials will be the only means, but for man, trials by the adversary contest must go by the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people.”

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
United States Supreme Court (1969-1986)

The Legal Profession Needs a Wake-up Call:

Professionalism: “A higher standard expected of all lawyers, it embodies attitude and dedication to civility, skill, business-like practices and a focus on service, rather than making money.”

In re Markler, Delaware Supreme Court, November 27, 1995

The new lawyers role as conflict resolution advocate is focused on developing the best possible outcome for the client, using communication, persuasion, and relationship building in contrast to positional argument. Many of the tools and skills of the lawyer as a “zealous advocate” can be melded with new skills, knowledge and sensitivities of the conflict resolution advocate.

The new lawyer will maintain and strengthen the place of the legal profession in our communities and allow lawyers and the public to again feel good about what lawyers do.

Julie MacFarlane, Professor of Law, University of Windsor from her book “The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law”

Lawyers’ faces are turned to the past and precedents. The bar is apt to see grave dangers in the alteration of any of the so-called ‘absolutes.’That is natural, since none likes to have the rules changed – especially when the change requires re-education.

Justice William O. Douglas
United States Supreme Court (1939-1975)

Lawyers are more likely to hate at sight any analysis to which they are not accustomed, and which disturbs repose of mind, than to fall in love with novelties.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
United States Supreme Court (1902-1932)

Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes too late.

Justice Felix Frankfurter
United States Supreme Court (1939-1962)

Alternate Dispute Resolution Has a Bright Future:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only think that ever has.

Margaret Mead, American cultural athropologist and writer

You must be the chance that you want to see in the world.

Mahandas K. Gandhi, Politican and ideological leader of India during Independence Movement

Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genious will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Educatin will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States (1923-1929)

A Bit of Humor is Always Refreshing:

Litigation is a basic legal right which guarantees every corporation its decade in court.

David Porter, British Member of Parliament (1987-1997)

To be a trial lawyer is to see the ignominy of slow justice in a system in which the process itself punishes all who come in contact with it – the winner as well as the loser.

John A. Jenkins, American Journalist and Legal Writer

A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit.

English Proverb

A lawsuit is a fruit tree planted in a lawyer’s garden.

Italian Proverb

In law nothing is certain but the expense.

Oliver Goldsmith, 17th century English writer