The US Courts’ news service posted last week about a preliminary report by Donna Stienstra at the Federal Judicial Center that shows the extent to which federal courts use ADR. Thirty years after a handful of courts first began experimenting with ADR, every federal district court now authorizes some form of ADR, and a third of courts authorize multiple ADR processes. During the year ending June 30, 2011, more than 28,000 cases were referred to ADR in 49 district courts (out of 94 total district courts; statistics weren’t available for the remaining courts). (more…)
Archive for June, 2012
Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Mediation Constitutes the Practice of Law in Limited CircumstancesJennifer Shack, June 21st, 2012
Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that an attorney who has resigned from the law as a disciplinary sanction, or has been disbarred or suspended, may not be able to mediate because mediation may constitute legal work that would violate the bar’s discipline.
The ruling states that one of the factors to be considered in deciding whether a disciplined attorney is undertaking legal work is “whether the work as performed by the lawyer invokes the lawyer’s professional judgment in applying legal principles to address the individual needs of clients.” (more…)
This month, Resolution Systems Institute was invited to consult on residential mortgage foreclosure mediation at the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) Mortgage Foreclosure Committee meeting. The ULC is a non-governmental organization that drafts laws which states may voluntarily adopt in whole or use in part to create their own laws. The Committee is considering drafting a uniform law on foreclosures and is interested in including a provision on foreclosure mediation. RSI provided its Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation and Mitigation Models report, along with other materials, to the Committee prior to the meeting. I, as staff attorney at RSI, along with four program managers from foreclosure ADR programs around the country, addressed the Committee and forty interested observers from lending, borrowing, academic, and governmental sectors. The following are my opening remarks:
Greetings, members of the Committee and observers. Thank you for the opportunity to present you with our research and experience in foreclosure alternative dispute resolution programs. We represent a few of the 23 states, (more…)