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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Posts Tagged ‘court’

What “Mandatory” Really Means in Foreclosure Mediation

Susan M. Yates, July 13th, 2015

There is a lot to be learned by reading RSI’s evaluation of the foreclosure mediation programs that are supported by a grant from the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. The evaluation, which was conducted and written by RSI’s amazing Director of Research, Jen Shack, is comprehensive, well-reasoned and insightful.

One thing that struck me is how the various programs use the term “mandatory” to describe mediation services. When I think of mandatory participation in mediation, I think of the typical family mediation program for contested child-related issues in which parents must attempt mediation (barring certain disqualifying factors) or the court will not move forward with their case. In foreclosure mediation, some programs call themselves mandatory, but court rules impose no negative consequences if the homeowners do not try mediation. (more…)

One-Day Divorce in San Diego Court

Susan M. Yates, July 1st, 2014

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…)

New Perspective on Domestic Violence and Mediation in Montana

Mary Novak, April 26th, 2013

Should domestic violence survivors and their abusers ever undergo family court mediation together? This is one of the thorniest debates in the ADR community. This week, the Montana Legislature weighed in with a qualified “yes.” The legislature passed a bill to revise state mediation laws on domestic violence. The bill, HB 555, enables survivors to give informed consent to mediation, while requiring specialized training for eligible mediators. This reverses the state’s prior understanding, in which a suspicion of any past abuse between parties, whether physical, sexual, or emotional, created an “absolute bar” to any court-ordered mediation. The history of the Montana mediation rules captures the evolution of thought on this topic, from rule creation to court re-interpretation to legislative refinement. (more…)

Blaming ADR

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, February 14th, 2012

When Mayanne Downs took office as President of The Florida Bar in June 2010, she stated that under her watch, a special committee would examine the decline in the number of jury trials and its impact on the judicial system, the public and lawyers. Especially in the face of drastic cuts to the judiciary’s budget, both at a state and federal level, this exploration seems timely. Getting a snapshot of why trends occur helps courts, the bar, and litigants consciously plan for what lies ahead.

The resulting report, however, speaks ominously (more…)

Termination of Mandatory Statewide Foreclosure Mediation in Florida Leads to a Few Lessons

Heather Scheiwe Kulp, December 20th, 2011

The Florida Supreme Court issued an order Monday, December 19, 2011, terminating the mandatory mediation program it created in 2009 as an emergency measure to deal with the foreclosure flood in Florida. While individual circuits can create localized mediation programs or refer foreclosures cases to mediation on a case-by-case basis, and some programs commit to remaining active, the statewide program will receive no new referrals as of yesterday.

Without commenting on whether this is a good or a not-so-good move, (more…)