LAW/ 531 DQ 1.1
Every case goes through an established system in order to reach resolution. The best way
to understand the process is to look at an actual court case, such as Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire &
Rubber Co. This was a civil case that based upon unlawful salary practices, with Ms. Ledbetter
getting less than her male counterparts that held similar positions and duties throughout her
term of employment. While many cases do not make it to the United States Supreme Court, the
Ledbetter v. Goodyear case made it the entire way through the judicial system.
The case was first presented in the civil division of the Alabama State trial court of
general jurisdiction. Goodyear appealed the findings of the first case, taking the case to the state
appeals court. With the court deciding in Goodyear’s favor, Ledbetter then took the case to the
Alabama Supreme Court, who decided in her favor. This then prompted Goodyear to appeal to
the U.S. Supreme Court (“Ledbetter,” 2006).
Many cases do not make it to trial even. However, this particular case was heavily
dependent upon interpretation of the wording of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which
was the law that was being used as defense of Ledbetter’s claims. If circumstances surrounding
the case had been different, there would have been the option for Alternative Dispute Resolution,
or ADR, to take place.
There are many different forms of ADR that can be pursued including arbitration,
negotiation, mediation, conciliation, mini-trial, fact-finding, and using a judicial referee
(Cheeseman, 2010). While each of these ADR could have resolved the case before moving
through the judicial system, given the circumstanced of the Ledbetter v. Goodyear case the best
forms of ADR which could have been pursued would have been fact-finding, conciliation, or
arbitration. Fact-finding would have used a third-party to collect the facts of the case and then
LAW/ 531 DQ 1.1
make a decision; conciliation would have had the parties communicate back and forth through a
third party without facing each other directly, while arbitration uses a third-part to hear and
decide the dispute between the two parties (Cheeseman, 2010). Each of these methods would
have worked to minimize disputes between the two parties, while simultaneously working to
come to a resolution.
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