Perceptions in Litigation and Mediation: Lawyers, Defendants, Plaintiffs, and Gendered Parties

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Overview

Grounded in interpretive theory and offering interdisciplinary insights from sociological, psychological, and gender studies, this book addresses the question - How do professional, lay, and gendered actors understand and experience case processing in litigation and mediation? Drawing on data from 131 interviews, questionnaires, and observations of plaintiffs, defendants, lawyers, and mediators involved in 64 fatality and medical injury cases, the book challenges dominant understandings of how formal legal processes and dispute resolution work in practice as well as the notion that disputants and their representatives broadly understand and want the same things during case processing. In juxtaposing actors' discourse on all sides of ongoing cases on issues such as expectations, needs, comprehensions of what plaintiffs seek from the legal system, objectives for resolving conflict at mediation, and perceptions of what occurs during attempts at case resolution, the findings reveal inherent problems with the core workings of the legal system. By providing in-depth views on the micro-elements of case processing, the book uncovers important issues about formal and informal justice, the inextricability of disputants' legal and often overriding extra-legal needs, and current paradigms relating to professional, lay, and gendered identities.
This book is unique in examining and understanding the workings of the legal system through juxtaposing lawyers', plaintiffs', defendants' and mediators' perceptions of litigation and mediation in ongoing litigated cases. This has not been done before, as access difficulties are immeasurable
• The book adds to the paucity of in-depth empirical data from plaintiffs and defendants themselves on their motivations, perceptions and extra-legal agendas during litigation and mediation. The findings additionally offer insight into how female and male lawyers practice law, and how female and male plaintiffs and defendants experience legal processes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521280549
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/11/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tamara Relis is an Assistant Professor of Law at Touro Law School, New York and a Research Fellow in the Law Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Between 2005 and 2009, during the writing of this book, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University Law School, New York. Dr Relis is the recipient of various awards for her doctoral and postdoctoral research, including those from the British Academy (postdoctoral research fellowship 2006–2009, and principal investigator on a project research grant), the Economic and Social Research Council (postdoctoral fellowship 2005–2006), and from Columbia University Provost's Office and the LSE (seed fund award). Dr Relis is currently working on her second book, Human Rights and Legal Pluralism: Theory, Global Standards, and Southern Actors' Practice based on empirical fieldwork research from 2005 to 2009 in eight states of India into formal courts and quasi-legal non-state justice regimes.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Great misconceptions or disparate perceptions of plaintiffs' litigation aims?; 3. Voluntary versus mandatory mediation divide; 4. Consequences of power: legal actors versus disputants on defendants' attendance at mediation; 5. Actors' mediation objectives: how lawyers versus parties plan to resolve their cases short of trial; 6. Actors' divergent perceptions of what goes on during mediation; 7. Parallel views on mediators and styles; 8. Conclusion: the parallel understandings and experiences in case processing and mediation.
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