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Dispute resolution options. As imposing as mandatory settlement conferences can be, the judge or settlement officer cannot force the parties to settle, only to attend. (Photo: BOKEH STOCK/Shutterstock.com)

Plaintiffs and defendants often describe their goals in emotional terms: “Make me whole,” “I want vindication,” “Teach them a lesson,” “I demand justice,” “This must never happen again,” and perhaps the most realistic goal, “I just want this to end.” Even that simple goal, closure, has become less available than it used to be.

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