All Rise, the Court is in Session: What Judges Say About Court-Connected Mediation
66 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2006
Alternative Dispute Resolution, especially mediation, is at a critical point in its evolution. As a result of how ADR/mediation has adapted to the courthouse, it is a continuing challenge for mediation to develop in such a way that it is both "value-added" (and true to the original ideals of party self-determination and support of "procedural" justice) and cost-effective for our system of justice (achieving important "substantive" justice goals). This article analyzes empirical data from the author's 2003 survey of Minnesota's 287 trial court judges about their experiences with a statewide civil ADR Rule (Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice). Questions on the judicial survey include when and why ADR is ordered; the timing of mediation and discovery; client attendance at mediations; desired mediator qualifications; what happens with summary judgment motions; and what complaint and enforcement issues have surfaced. Based on the data analysis, suggestions for change in the court-connected ADR environment are made to better harmonize the implementation of mediation programs in the courts with the actual goals for such programs. Particular emphasis in the article is placed on the need for more rigorous monitoring and evaluation of court-connected ADR programs.
Keywords: Court-Connected ADR, Judicial Surveys, Mediation, Minnesota, Procedural Justice
JEL Classification: J52, K00, K10, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation