3.5 Concluding Thoughts

The litigation system, publicly financed, is an important dispute-resolution mechanism that processes millions of cases in both state and federal courts every year. The system permits parties to air their grievances against each other in an open and transparent manner and is typically very effective at finding the truth. The jury system, in particular, is largely admired for its ability to involve ordinary citizens in an important form of civil service. For many businesses, however, litigation can be a vexing and distracting problem. The extraordinarily high costs associated with complex litigation, along with pressure from stakeholders to settle cases rather than litigate them fully, means that most businesses would prefer to avoid litigation whenever possible. These problems have led many courts to experiment with various levels of reform, from mandatory pretrial settlement attempts to mandatory mediation to jury selection and management reforms. These reforms are aimed at maintaining the vitality and usefulness of the litigation system, which can be a trusted and valuable resource for all citizens and corporations.