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Crafting Creative Settlements Since 1983


History of DRI


In the Spring of 1983, Don Reder read a Hartford Courant article that described the five to seven year delays existing in the Connecticut civil courts. After initial discussions with some of his lawyer-friends, he realized that litigation diminishes or eliminates the ability of the disputing parties to speak to each other. “The law” continues to be bodies of competing opinion and the lawyer’s job in litigation is to try to make his or her case conform to the law most advantageous for the client. Additionally, litigation forces lawyers to focus their energies on procedural issues, i.e. whether some counts in a Complaint state claims upon which relief can be granted, as opposed to focusing on how the dispute began and what is necessary to resolve it. By the time parties do focus on those issues, years have gone by, huge amounts of money and energy have been expended and animosities have become firmly seated.


Reder spent several months researching the emerging field of Alternate Dispute Resolution, and in the Fall of 1983, incorporated Dispute Resolution Inc. Since then, DRI has assisted clients in resolving cases both throughout the United States and internationally. DRI's caseload is reflective of the courts, resolving personal injury, employment, construction, subrogation and malpractice and commercial disputes.


DRI has been a leader in introducing many cutting-edge dispute resolution tools.

  • DRI was the first ADR firm to introduce the Confidential Listener process, an expedited opportunity for parties to confidentially share their real settlement positions with a neutral.

  • In addition to normal Mediation and Arbitration services, DRI provides a hybrid Med/Arb procedure which combines the advantages of Mediation with the finality of Arbitration.

  • DRI also provides Mock Jury Focus Groups for clients and

  • The Private Jury Trial, a binding hearing procedure which uses both a real jury and retired judge.  Utilizing a variety of time-saving techniques, the introduction of testimony and exhibits is accomplished in a streamlined manner, after which the jury deliberates and issues its verdict, which is typically controlled by an award-limiting agreement entered into by the parties.

  • In the late 1980's DRI pioneered the use of Settlement Days where large numbers of files can be resolved in an intense one-to-three day settlement effort.  (Please see Services section for more information.)

Our philosophy has always been that clients hire us not to hold hearings, but to assist them in settling their cases. As a result, DRI typically remains involved in cases which do not settle at their hearings and maintains a 90+ percent settlement rate.