Saturday, June 10, 2006

Really Alternative Dispute Resolution

There have been a number of news stories the last few days, including in The New York Times, about the federal judge in Florida who ordered two lawyers to play a game of "rock, paper, scissors" to settle a trivial discovery dispute they were having (about where to conduct the deposition of a witness). Last year the president of a Japanese electronics company used the same game to decide whether Christie's or Sotheby's should sell the company's $20-plus million art collection (Christie's won). Here is the website of the World Rock Papers Scissors Society ("serving the needs of decision makers since 1918"). Eugene Volokh points out that "such random (or close to random) decisionmaking isn't entirely novel to the legal system."