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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Posts Tagged ‘court rules’

In re Lee Part 2: Parental Autonomy vs. Judicial Oversight

Just Court ADR, October 21st, 2013

For the second part of this series on the family court mediation case In re Lee, I’ll examine the laws at issue in the case, then discuss the legal reasoning and policy that the Texas Supreme Court majority and dissent each followed in making their decisions. The crucial statute in the case was Texas Family Code Chapter 153, which relates to custody. Two sections of that code came into conflict in the case.

Best Interest of Child (§153.002) says the best interest of the child should always be the court’s primary consideration in custody issues.

Alternate Dispute Resolution Procedures (§153.0071) includes rules for mediation. Several parts of this section were relevant to Lee’s case. (more…)

In re Lee Part 1: A Child’s Best Interest Comes Second to Mediation Finality

Just Court ADR, October 9th, 2013

The mediation policy and ethics questions encountered in the recent Texas Supreme Court decision In re Lee are enough to fill several blog posts. Over the next few posts, we’ll look at the many policy implications of this remarkable decision. Topics discussed will include:

  • Should the finality of a mediated agreement trump changes for the child’s best interest?
  • In custody policy, do mediation and arbitration differ?
  • When there’s been no intimate partner violence, should settlements be irrevocable?
  • Who decides potential endangerment to a child?
  • What can judges do when parents in mediation act against their child’s interest?
  • When a mediated agreement sets rules over non-parties, what governs their enforcement?


Illinois Expands Law Student and Graduate Representation in ADR

Just Court ADR, June 19th, 2013

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 Increase Opportunities for Legal Representation in ADR

Just Court ADR, 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…)

Indiana Court Pierces Mediation Confidentiality For Possible Error

Just Court ADR, December 4th, 2012

A recent decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals shows the uneasy balance between the rules of confidentiality in an ADR process, and the rules of evidence in a court trial. In the family law case Horner v. Carter, the Indiana court has interpreted its state rules of ADR and Evidence so that clients may introduce evidence from confidential ADR sessions for a much broader range of reasons than the court had previously allowed. While the case is limited to Indiana, and currently under appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, other ADR professionals may wish to tune in for two reasons. First, other states beyond Indiana may follow similar rules. Also, the case is an interesting example of the uneasy balance that can exist between the protection and privilege of ADR, and how that veil may be pierced unexpectedly in a court proceeding. (more…)

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