For Immediate Release - February 25, 2013

Conciliation Training Guidelines Modified

Trial Court Chief Justice Robert A. Mulligan has approved a change in the qualification training requirements for Court-Connected Conciliators, as recommended by the Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution. The amended guidelines, which will be effective on March 1, 2013, permit those who have completed an approved mediation training program to serve as a conciliator in a court-approved program subject to the approval of the conciliation program and the completion of the necessary court orientation by the program.

Convergence of the mediation and conciliation training requirements, and a proliferation of court-approved conciliation programs in the Trial Court over the past year, led to the Committee’s recommendation. That is, the alternative methods for meeting the eight-hour training requirement for conciliation are deemed satisfied if the person has completed a 30-hour mediation training program and the requisite court orientation.

Accordingly, Article III of the Alternative Methods for Conciliators in the Guidelines implementing Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules on Qualification Standards for Neutrals has been amended to add: “Completed the training requirements for a Mediator, as set forth in Rule 8(c) in addition to a court orientation as an approved Conciliation Program requires.”

Pursuant to Rule 8(e), conciliators must be members of the Massachusetts Bar, be in good standing with the Board of Bar Overseers and must have practiced law in Massachusetts for at least three years.

District Court Judge Mark D. Mason serves as chair of the Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution. He or Timothy M. Linnehan, Acting Director of the Support Services Department, are available to address questions which may be directed to