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Media Libel Litigation: A Search for More Effective Dispute Resolution
Roselle Wissler
14 Law and Human Behavior 469 (1990)
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The libel litigation system does not efficiently or effectively resolve media libel disputes. Protracted and expensive litigation neither restores plaintiffs’ reputations nor protects media defendants from intrusive discovery and potentially large damage awards. This article demonstrates how research on the characteristics of the libel litigation process and the interests and concerns of the disputants was synthesized with research on dispute resolution processes to develop an alternative process for resolving libel disputes outside the courts. The article discusses the potential feasibility of the voluntary, nonlitigation alternative program, informed by research on dispute processing and libel litigation. An evaluation of the program is being conducted to examine attorney's and parties’ reactions to the program and to assess the extent to which the program provides effective solutions to the problems of the libel litigation system.
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