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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Illinois Rule Changes Increase Opportunities for Legal Representation in ADR

Terra K. Peach, June 17th, 2013

Illinois rule changes that may increase the availability of counsel for alternative dispute resolution processes take effect in two weeks. After July 1, 2013, it will be easier for lawyers to work with clients on one clearly defined portion of a civil legal matter without taking on other issues or proceedings within the case. Updated forms and procedures streamline representation for clients who wish to retain a lawyer for settlement negotiations only, understanding that the lawyer will not be responsible for taking the case to trial. (more…)

The Silent Space: Mediation Confidentiality, the Right to Privacy, and the Mediator’s Role

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, July 12th, 2012

In her recent article in The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution (and in previous articles here and a workshop here), Susan Oberman discusses the tension between mediation’s promotion of confidentiality and the constitutional right to privacy. While the article examines extensively the history of privacy, confidentiality, and constitutional/state law, I want to point mediators and court mediation program administrators to an issue of particular relevance for their practice. (more…)

E-Discovery Mediation and Litigation Planning

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, April 30th, 2012

Welcome Jennifer LaDuke, RSI’s guest blogger, writing about her experiences at a recent e-Discovery mediation training.

As an attorney shifting her career toward mediation, I am always on the lookout for training opportunities to further my skill set and knowledge base. I have previous experience with litigation and electronically-stored information, including participating in a half-dozen large-scale cases where tens of thousands of electronic documents had to be reviewed, tagged, and logged. So, I was thrilled to link my interest in mediation and my previous experience by attending a recent two-day training program offered by the American College of e-Neutrals on the use of mediation to (more…)

Part 3 of 3: Foreclosure Mediation Best Practices

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, March 14th, 2012

MEDIATION SESSION ELEMENTS

Ensure Mediators are Well-Trained

Some programs, fearing they will not be able to attract people to mediate, lower the requirements for training mediators. Instead of the normal 40 hour mediation training, they may require only 12 hours of training with an additional training in foreclosure law, or only require that the mediator be an attorney. This lack of training jeopardizes the mediation process itself, as people may not have the tools after 12 hours of training to manage such a complicated discussion. Connecticut’s program boasts a high settlement rate, in part because (more…)

Foreclosure Mediation, Saving Homes, and Appropriate Dispute Resolution

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, February 23rd, 2012

As someone who reports on foreclosure mediation around the country, I am thankful for the work of the Department of Justice and the National Consumer Law Center, which have both published extensive reports on the benefits of foreclosure mediation in recent weeks. The DOJ’s report is a follow-up on an Access to Justice Initiative conference RSI attended last year, which focused on how foreclosure mediation programs can be evaluated for their effectiveness. The NCLC report is the work of Geoff Walsh, a consumer lawyer who focuses on the foreclosure crisis and how consumers benefit from mediation programs that address foreclosures and provide a mechanism for servicer accountability. Walsh also helpfully demonstrates (on pages 33-41) how foreclosure mediation does not have to cost states too much and does not have to extend the foreclosure timeline.

While I agree with most of the assessment these reports provide, I’d like to highlight a couple of points – based on RSI’s experience and expertise in the court ADR field – with which I disagree.  (more…)