Court-Connected Settlement Procedures: Mediation and Judicial Settlement Conferences

Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 26, Nos. 2-3, p. 271, 2011

56 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2011 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017

See all articles by Roselle Wissler

Roselle Wissler

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The present Article reports the findings of an empirical study that provides a rare look at lawyers' views of several models of judicial settlement conferences and mediation, based on their experience with the procedures in federal court. The findings show that lawyers tended to view mediation with staff mediators more favorably than mediation with volunteer mediators and than both types of judicial settlement conferences. Lawyers thought that settlement conferences with judges not assigned to the case raised substantially fewer concerns than settlement conferences with judges assigned to the case, while having most of the same benefits. Mediation with volunteer mediators presented a mixed picture relative to both judicial settlement conference models. The findings, while probably influenced in part by how the models were implemented, reflect inherent structural differences among the models, including the neutrals' decision-making role and closeness to the trial judge and the proportion of their work life spent facilitating settlement. Components of process quality that emerge from model codes of conduct and standards for judges and mediators, as well as issues that commentators have raised about the models, are discussed. The article discusses the implications of the findings of this and other empirical research for courts' and parties' choices among settlement procedure models.

Keywords: mediation, judicial settlement conference, empirical research

Suggested Citation

Wissler, Roselle, Court-Connected Settlement Procedures: Mediation and Judicial Settlement Conferences (2011). Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 26, Nos. 2-3, p. 271, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1740033

Roselle Wissler (Contact Author)

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University ( email )

111 E. Taylor St.
Mail code 9520
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States

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