It’s not every morning that a court ADR mechanism is mentioned in a top news story, but there it was this morning. The idea of a special master was raised in a discussion of options for the court when it comes to deciding what is inside and outside the bounds of attorney-client privilege in the case of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, whose home, office and hotel room were the subject of a recent search warrant.
The intricacies of “clean teams” and “dirty teams” are far outside my knowledge base, but “special master” is something I understand. RSI defines it in our Court ADR Basics, “… special masters, are appointed by the court, not the parties, to ensure that a court order is being followed.” For more in-depth information about how the federal court operates in terms of special masters, you might want to check out the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 53, Masters, which includes extensive notes on the 2003 amendments to Rule 53.
Whether or not the court decides to name a special master in this situation, as a self-professed court ADR nerd, the fact that it is part of the public discussion was a cool way to start the week.