for Administration and Management
Promulgates Guidelines for the Implementation of Rule 8
of the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution
Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan
today announced that the Guidelines required by Rule 8 (b)
(iv) of the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution have been
approved for use and distribution.
Guidelines implement the qualification standards for neutrals
and approved programs performing court-connected dispute resolution
services. Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution
was adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court in November, 2003
and will take effect on January 1, 2005. These Guidelines
were developed by the Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution
simultaneously with the lengthy process that led to the promulgation
of Rule 8.
8 and the accompanying Guidelines establish training, evaluation,
mentoring, and continuing education and evaluation requirements
for seven categories of neutrals - mediators, arbitrators,
case evaluators, conciliators, mini-trial neutrals, summary
jury trial neutrals, and dispute intervenors. It also provides
alternative methods for meeting the requirements, and a "grandfather"
clause that allows Trial Court Chief Justices to exercise
a one-time option that would exempt some neutrals who meet
certain requirements from the initial training requirements.
Justice Mulligan said, "I am pleased to approve the necessary
Guidelines to implement the qualification standards established
by Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules. These Guidelines are the culmination
of more than ten years of formidable work by the Standing
Committee on Dispute Resolution in creating systemwide standards
for court-connected alternative dispute resolution services."
Court Judge John Cratsley, Chair of the Standing Committee
on Dispute Resolution, said, "These Guidelines reflect the
best thinking in the dispute resolution community regarding
the proper training, evaluation, and mentoring for neutrals
who do court-connected dispute resolution. Compliance with
their recommendations assures the public of the highest quality
of any ADR process they might choose as an alternative to
going to trial."
Guidelines work in conjunction with Rule 8 and are necessary
to give substance to the general requirements of the rule.
The Guidelines also provide more guidance to neutrals and
programs than the rule itself. They contain specific requirements
for each ADR process concerning training, mentoring, and evaluation;
a skills check list for competency; and a description of the
types of prior experience needed to fulfill the alternative
method option to the training requirement. The Guidelines
for dispute intervention are still being developed. Dispute
intervention is an "in house" ADR process used in the Probate
and Family Court and the Housing Court Departments by probation
officers and housing specialists.
allow the programs that provide court-connected ADR services
to comply with Rule 8 and these new Guidelines, the Chief
Justice for Administration and Management has extended the
current list of approved programs until January 1, 2005. This
postpones the effective date of the next approval process
until then so that ADR programs can satisfy the requirements
of Rule 8 in their next applications as well as seek the one-time
"grandfather" exemption for certain neutrals. Rule 8(k) creates
an option by a Chief Justice of any Trial Court Department
to use a one time exemption for mediators, arbitrators, case
evaluators, and conciliators from the training, mentoring,
and evaluation requirements of Rule 8. Trial Court Departments
have until May 15, 2004, to decide whether they will utilize
8 of the Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution and the Guidelines
can be found on the Internet at www.state.ma.us/courts/admin/legal.html.
Questions about the implementation of Rule 8 and the Guidelines
should be directed to Tim Linnehan, Coordinator of Alternative
Dispute Resolution Services, at 617-878-0372 or by e-mail