Curious data on dispute settlement over the past five years

“82 per cent of respondents [to the survey referenced below] indicated that their organisation’s disputes are resolved by negotiated settlement. Five years ago this figure was 74 percent.” The quote comes from The In-House Perspective, April 2011 at 13, which cites Deloitte & Touche’s “Forensic Corporate Counsel Survey 2010: do today’s corporate counsels hold all the cards?”

How did those who responded have those figures at hand? Presumably Deloitte asked a similar question five years ago rather than asking respondents to guess at the earlier figure. Since fewer than five percent of all lawsuits in the United States go to trial, why is the figure not nearer 95 per cent? Does the term “disputes” cover more than civil litigation? Are there settlements that are not negotiated? What accounts for the increase of 10 percent in the proportion of negotiated disputes? In short, does this quote convince us of anything?

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