In The News02.16.2023

Retired Judge Marshall Berger talks to Law360 about Joining ADR Practice

Law360 Pulse

Retired Connecticut Superior Court Judge Marshall K. Berger recently spoke to Law360 Pulse about joining Pullman & Comley’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice, where he will focus on the mediation of land use, environmental and construction matters. 

Judge Berger talked about his move from the courthouse to private practice, the benefits of ADR, and why ADR is growing. The move into private practice begins a new chapter in Berger's life, he told Law360 Pulse.

"I can focus solely on informal resolution of cases outside of the courtroom process," he said.

In most environmental litigation, it's not a decision from the bench that resolves the case but rather agreements and answers to questions that cannot always be resolved in a courtroom setting, Judge Berger said.

He's tried cases that still ended up in the mediation process after the trial when litigants realized that the trial could not give them the end result that was needed. Now, working in ADR, he can help each side feel like they've won something, he said.

“Pullman has a well-regarded, well-developed ADR practice,” he said.  “This opportunity allows us to expand that ADR process into an area which I think doesn't exist anywhere else, which is the land use and environmental area.”

When asked about returning to private practice after more than 30 years on the bench, he observed that “Litigants should be offered as many opportunities to resolve the cases as possible. I think more often than not, everybody can win in a mediation process short of trial.  You can focus solely on the resolution and in the courtroom, you can have a nominal winner, but that may not in fact resolve all the disputes and after the time, the angst, the energy, the results may not be what people think.”

Subscribers of Law360 can read the full interview on the Law360 website here:


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