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ADR - Alternative Dispute Resolution

The list of legal fees clearly shows the considerable monetary risk of any court litigation. Furthermore, the possibilities of appeal and of a second appeal to the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), eventually to the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), including a detour to the European Court of Justice, extend the duration and increase the costs of any court litigation. At the same time, one may conclude from the published court decisions that civil courts are less and less concerned with business-to-business-cases, but are by far more concerned with consumer protection cases in the broadest sense. By and large, this may lead - or may already have led - to a certain lack of expertise and understanding in purely business orientated cases. Thus, arbitration has gained a considerable reputation for being a fast and cost saving procedure in business to business disputes - at least if major amounts are under dispute. Germany now provides for a number of rather well trained and experienced arbitrators - both nationally and internationally.

Obviously under the influence of developments in the USA, mediation became not only a cherished topic in scholarly writings, but a more and more applied means in practical dispute resolution in all fields of laws.