ControlAltDispute was formed to be a part of the visible Church that fulfills the mandate of I Corinthians 6:1-6 (quoted below). ControlAltDispute seeks to provide a means for dispute resolution between professing Christians moderated or even adjudicated by other professing Christians who are trained in dispute resolution and law.
The formation of ControlAltDispute was the result of six observations and considerations:
- The Bible calls the Church to certain duties regarding dispute resolution.
- Most local church bodies are not fully equipped to fulfill their duties in this area.
- Christians go to secular courts because they are without alternatives.
- Biblical procedures and substantive laws are generally clear to those trained in understanding both civil law and Scripture.
- Denominational doctrinal differences are nearly irrelevant in dispute resolution.
- Biblical principles of conflict resolution should be applicable not only to Christians, but also to other faith-based groups as well (including ministries and privately-owned businesses whose owners seek to apply Biblical principles to their businesses).
ControlAltDispute was founded by a Christian trial attorney and mediator in south Florida to meet what seemed to be a constant need for Christian alternative dispute resolution. M. Glenn Curran, III, Esquire, is a south Florida native who has been a trial attorney for nearly thirty years. In addition to being a member of the Florida and District of Columbia Bar Associations, he is also a member of the Broward County Bar Association, the Association of South Florida Mediators and Arbitrators, and the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators, as well as various other committees and associations related to his practice areas. He has handled many different kinds of litigation including commercial, business, personal injury, family law, and probate litigation and has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Mediator since 2001 and then later qualified by the Florida Supreme Court as an Arbitrator. (You can learn more about him here on his firm’s bio page.)
In addition to handling a wide range of civil trials, arbitrations, and mediations, Mr. Curran is also a seminary-trained and ordained Ruling Elder. He has been legal counsel to a number of local, regional, national, and international ministries, and he has also served on the Board of Directors of several local church and Christian organizations. With this background, and having been a Christian himself for more than thirty years, Mr. Curran understands the unique needs of resolving controversies in a Biblical fashion.
Our Mission Statement.
Over the last twenty years or so, Mr. Curran became increasingly aware that professing Christians were disputing with, even suing, other Christians in civil court because of their perception that they had no alternatives. (More often than not, by the way, their perception was reality!) The Church in south Florida, it seemed, had largely abdicated its mandate to resolve disputes between its members. This manifest and dire need seemed to be a perfect match for the experience and training God had provided to Mr. Curran during his law practice and this led to the formation of ControlAltDispute and the drafting of its Mission Statement:
To assist the visible Church in carrying out its obligations
to serve as facilitators of resolution and restoration,
as well as to serve as judges of controversies
between confessing Christians.
Our Guiding Scripture.
If there is a single portion of Scripture that sets the context for what we do, this is it:
Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? I say this to your shame: Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?
– 1 Corinthians 6: 1-6 (NASB)
Our strategy is to come along side the Church (primarily through the local churches) and provide a means for dealing with disputes, leading to restoration and reconciliation. The typical format would be a form of Mediation, but in some instances the situation may be more efficiently handled by a form of Arbitration. If you want to learn more about the details of our strategy, and review some of the more frequently asked questions about us, you might want to go to our FAQs page next.