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Most attorneys are familiar with prominent alternative dispute resolution firms such as JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service), WAMS (Washington Arbitration and Mediation Service), and those named after retired judges or commissioners [insert name of mediator here] Arbitration and Mediation Service.

Family lawyers in particular have many challenges when dealing with warring spouses fighting over custody, property, money and who gets the toaster oven. Most practitioners are not aware that there are several ADR providers who are more specialized, either in their approach or the market which they serve. As lawyers trying to get the best outcomes for our clients, we need to choose the appropriate ADR provider for the unique needs of our cases. The following is a list of alternative alternative dispute resolution providers which may be just the right fit for your case. Keep in mind that these providers could be useful in a variety of areas besides family law.

LAMS Specializing in cases where clients are on the run from the law. Cash up front required; no personal checks accepted.

SCRAMS Adept at so irritating the opposing party that they flee the jurisdiction.

SHAMS Accepts only cases where settlement proposals are illusory, impractical to carry out, or outright impossible.

FLIM-FLAMS Shares office space with SHAMS. Sucks opposing parties into too-good-to-be-true settlements, then disappears before CR 2A can be written up.

SCAMS Specializes in pyramid-scheme settlements where opposing parties satisfy needs for money from unsuspecting third parties.

WHAMS "What Me Worry" Arbitration and Mediation Service. Induces parties to enter vague settlement agreements with holes in every area. Always appoints itself arbitrator knowing that the parties will be back over and over again to hash out disputes over interpretation and execution.

MAMS Exceedingly polite mediators, so much so that they get talked into making up deficits in clients' settlements out of their own pockets, and not charging for their services.

SLAMS Emphasizes points by throwing things at walls and onto tables, intimidating clients into settling.

RAMS For those needing really heavy-handed mediators, not afraid to use head-butting, choke-holds or stun-guns to force settlements. Operated by ex-SLAMS employees fired for using excessive force.

CRAMS Locks parties into a room with no food or water until settlement is reached. Can co-mediate with SLAMS and RAMS.

CLAMS Separates parties into different rooms with no communication allowed between them. First to try to escape loses.

IAMS Provides only cat treats and dog kibble as refreshments during mediations. No bathroom breaks allowed, only trips to the litter box.

NRAMS NRA-affiliated mediation service. Equips parties with large-caliber pistols and arranges duel at 20 paces. Last one standing wins.

BLAMS Conducts sessions at the shooting range, with parties taking shots at targets depicting their estranged spouse and his/her attorney. Once clients' desire to act out violently is satisfied, reasonable settlements are reached instantaneously.

SPAMS Sends barrages of unsolicited e-mails to the other side until they capitulate.

WAAAAMS Lets parties have crying fits under the conference table until they snap out of it and settle.

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