During a recent day of strategic planning at RSI, one of the ideas our staff explored was how alternative dispute resolution (ADR) helps to increase access to justice (ATJ or A2J). This idea is close to my heart; improving the accessibility of our justice system has been a passion of mine for years and has driven my decisions to attend law school, train as a mediator, and ultimately, join RSI’s team. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘access to justice’
Julie Macfarlane has written a useful guide for self-represented litigants participating in court-related settlement efforts, including settlement conferences with judges, mediations and direct negotiations with the other party’s lawyer. This could be a handy reference for court ADR programs to provide to parties.
The guide, “Settlement Smarts for Self-Represented Litigants: How to Use Settlement Processes Knowledgeably and Effectively,” is produced by the Canadian National Self-Represented Litigants Project. Thanks again to Richard Zorza’s great blog on access to justice issues for the heads up about this.
I love Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog, especially when he covers programs like the one offered by San Diego, California courts to accomplish divorce in a single day. Zorza cites a New York Times piece to explain how the process works. The divorcing couple files for divorce and reaches agreement on everything: property, debts, child-related issues, etc. Then the couple goes to court and a court coordinator helps ensure they have all the necessary documents and they are completed correctly. With the paperwork in order, the couple can get their divorce the same day.
One of the things that makes this program unusual is that the court provides a coordinator who does not give legal advice, but who does help the divorcing couple ensure their documents are in order and help fill in any missing pieces if needed. (more…)
Yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court announced changes to Rule 711 that explicitly permit qualified law students and graduates who have not yet been admitted to practice to provide ADR representation starting July 1, 2013. Consistent with previous requirements, law students and graduates will offer legal services with client consent, under attorney supervision. However, the revised rule allows law students and graduates to appear on behalf of clients in court-annexed arbitrations and mediations in Illinois courts and administrative tribunals, and to represent clients in nonlitigation matters. It also reduces the coursework required before applying for permission to provide services. (more…)
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…)