So I was catching up on disputes involving museums and I came across a slightly humorous story. In short, the American Museum of Natural History in NY sued American Airlines. Why? Because the airline allegedly destroyed barrels of "rare specimens" of fish that were shipped as luggage instead of cargo. The museum brought suit to recover the costs of collecting and transporting these rare fish from Africa.
This made me question as to whether there is a place for ADR in all situations. In this story, I can't say that ADR methods would lead to the most effective resolution. Have you dealt with airlines recently? In my opinion, they are not always the shining star in customer service or conflict resolution. I would imagine "threatening" them with mediation would not have the same effect as a threat of litigation. Furthermore, there seemed to be some factual disputes (the researcher allegedly checked the fish as luggage instead of cargo) - how is that solved outside of a courtroom? You don't have burdens of proof or a judge/jury that says you are "right" in ADR.
Therefore, my question is where is the line in deciding whether to pursue ADR or courtroom litigation? What does it take in a situation where you can see that negotiation, mediation, etc. will not only resolve the issue but give you a satisfactory resolution? And with industries/parties such as airlines that are relatively irritating to start with (costs, delays, grumpy workers, etc.), is there less willingness to employ ADR even if it could work? And what does that say about the future of ADR and conflict resolution specialists?
Are there specific factors you can think of that would indicate one path may be more effective than the other? Has anyone experienced the "opportunity" to choose between the two?