July 17, 2015
RSI Releases Its Comprehensive Six Programs, Six Models Report on Illinois Foreclosure Mediation Programs - Resolution Systems Institute has published a comprehensive report evaluating six foreclosure mediation programs funded by a grant from the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. The programs, which are administered by RSI, the University of Illinois College of Law Community Preservation Clinic and Carbondale-based nonprofit Dispute Resolution Institute, each employ a different model. The evaluation found that the programs provided homeowners a better understanding of their options, a respectful and fair process, and a strong chance to save their homes. Follow the link to read the full Six Programs, Six Models report.
April 6, 2015
AFCC Calls for Comments on Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluation Affected by Intimate Partner Violence - The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) has called for comments on their drafted guidelines for child custody evaluation when intimate partner violence is involved. The proposed guidelines and survey form are linked here. Comments will be accepted through May 6, 2015.
April 3, 2015
In California, Mediation Confidentiality Bars Malpractice Suit - In California, the 2nd District Court of Appeal held that the state’s mediation confidentiality statutes prohibited a party from bringing evidence of his own representative’s malpractice because the alleged bad advice was given during a mediation session. In Amis v. Greenberg Traurig LLP et al., the plaintiff accepted a mediation agreement in which he and other shareholders assumed a $2.4 million corporate debt. The plaintiff said his counsel had not explained that the shareholders would likely not have had personal liability without the mediated agreement. The 2nd District affirmed a lower court judgment that because of confidentiality no evidence from the session was admissible. The court expressed sympathy with Amis’s assertion that mediation confidentiality was not intended to protect attorneys from malpractice claims, but said that this “seemingly unintended consequence” must be corrected by the Legislature, not the courts.
April 3, 2015
Nevada Bankruptcy Court Adopts Mortgage Modification Mediation Program - The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada has announced uniform procedures for its Mortgage Modification Mediation Program. The program applies to all real estate involved in Las Vegas Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, including both commercial and residential. The goal of the program is to facilitate communication between debtors and lenders, in the hopes of encouraging them to finalize an agreement under court supervision.
February 17, 2015
Register for Online Dispute Resolution Conference - Registration is now open for the 2015 International ODR conference. This year's meeting, from June 3-5, 2015, is being hosted by Pace Law School at Pace's campus in Manhattan. Our principal keynote speakers are Richard Susskind, Esther Dyson, Colin Rule and others. Registration and other program information is accessible here
February 5, 2015
Call for Nominations for Award for ADR Scholarship - The Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution at St. John’s University School of Law has announced a new $5,000 annual award for published ADR research. The Mangano Dispute Resolution Advancement Award “honors the researcher(s) whose published empirical research has furthered the advancement and understanding of the values and skills of dispute resolution.” Submissions nominating papers published between January 2013 and February 2015 should be entered by Friday, February 27.
February 4, 2015
Idaho Counties Resolve Felonies with Criminal Mediation - Criminal mediation has become increasingly popular in Idaho, according to the Idaho Statesman. In 2011, the Idaho Supreme Court established statewide rules for criminal mediation, now used in several county programs. In one county, the process has become so popular that it has been used to settle cases before trial in all but one murder in the last two years. Criminal mediation is an outgrowth of the plea-bargain process. The court rule names the defendant and the prosecutor as the parties, although the opposing attorneys act as parties in most mediations. The mediators on the court’s roster are senior and sitting judges who have undergone training. All cases are confidential except as required for reporting child abuse. The judge who mediates the case may not discuss it with the trial judge. In a session, the mediator listens to the attorneys’ positions and offers perspective on their cases’ strengths and weaknesses. Any topic the court deems beneficial may be discussed, including sentencing agreements, restitution, and future relationships with any victim. One rationale for the program is the potential savings in time and costs compared to criminal trials, which may last for months or be expensive.