The Awesome Potential of Advanced Dispute Resolution with Rich Lee

Annual U.S. litigation cost estimates vary wildly.  Some say $250 billion, others say $430 billion. When you consider indirect costs, such as lost productivity or economic damages, some put the costs as high as  $1.5 trillion.

According to Statista, more than $5 billion is spent on employment litigation alone, and another $4.5 billion on commercial litigation. Litigation surrounding intellectual property, product liability, and real estate disputes, cost more than $3 billion each.  

Time is also a factor. As any litigator knows, resolution of a lawsuit can take three to five years on average. Some cases drag on for more than a decade.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is increasingly attractive. Its benefits were  on full display during Covid lockdowns. It’s more convenient for almost everyone involved, especially in cross-country or cross-border disputes.  

An important and dangerous side effect of litigation expense is access to justice. Everyone will have disputes and conflicts in their lives, but not everyone can afford to go to court. 

More ADR is moving from mediation to arbitration partly because of the perceived finality of going to a panel. The American Arbitration Association says there were 25,000 ADR cases filed in 2020. Meanwhile, there are more than 400,000 federal suits and as many as 60 million state suits filed each year.

Listen to my interview with Rich Lee, CEO and Co-Founder, New Era/ADR as we discuss hot topics and issues involving what is referred to here as “Advanced Dispute Resolution.” Before New Era/ADR, Rich was general counsel of a financial technology company that he helped to build, grow, and sell. Rich  serves as an advisor, board member, and investor in technology startups and venture funds and in a leadership role in the Economic Club of Chicago.  He serves on the national Leader’s Council of the Legal Services Corporation (a U.S. Senate-funded 501c3) and on the board of Illinois Legal Aid Online. He has a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I hope you enjoy the episode. If so, give us a rating!


This podcast is the audio companion to the Journal of Emerging Issues in Litigation. The Journal is a collaborative project between HB Litigation Conferences and the vLex Fastcaselegal research family, which includes Full Court Press, Law Street Media, and Docket Alarm.

If you have comments, ideas, or wish to participate, please drop me a note at

Tom Hagy
Litigation Enthusiast and
Host of the Emerging Litigation Podcast
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