As courts throughout the U.S. have become more and more backlogged with cases, and as the financial stakes in litigation have grown increasingly larger, so too has the need for quality alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. Certain substantive legal areas lend themselves particularly well to ADR. Intellectual property/entertainment matters are at the top of the list of practice areas for which ADR is ideally suited.
The importance of secrecy and privacy, the need for expertise and the flexibility that ADR offers are three reasons why intellectual property and entertainment practitioners should use ADR as much as possible. Every time a lawsuit is filed, it becomes public record. Reporters scour the case filings for interesting cases to report. Parties can avoid this unwanted publicity by agreeing to participate in a pre-filing mediation. If successful, the case is never filed, the facts remain confidential and the parties reach a business-like resolution while saving substantial attorneys’ fees. Because many parties often have ongoing relationships to preserve, an early resolution is also likely to maintain that important relationship.