GUIDE TO COURT-CONNECTED
DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES
TO ASSIST ATTORNEYS AND CLIENTS
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court/Trial Court Standing
Committee on Dispute Resolution has produced a new publication,
"A Guide to Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution
Services," to help attorneys understand their obligations
under SJC Rule 1:18, the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution,
and to help them provide clients with information about court-connected
dispute resolution services.
5 of the Uniform Rules states, in part, "Attorneys shall:
provide their clients with . . . information about court-connected
dispute resolution services; discuss with their clients the
advantages and disadvantages of the various methods of dispute
resolution; and certify their compliance with this requirement."
twenty-page guide defines court-connected Alternative Dispute
Resolution (ADR), provides information about the variety of
court-connected ADR services available, and explains at what
stages in the legal proceedings ADR sessions can be arranged.
booklet also describes the benefits and costs of court-connected
ADR, and what happens if a case is not settled during an ADR
session. It includes a sample form attorneys must use to certify
compliance with Rule 5, exemptions to the certification requirement,
and detailed information about how to contact the ADR coordinators
in each Trial Court Department.
Guide will help attorneys explain to their clients what their
options are for trying to resolve issues in a fair, timely,
and satisfying manner before they reach trial," said Superior
Court Judge John C. Cratsley, Chair of the SJC/Trial Court
Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution. "It gives them a
general overview of the principles behind court-connected
dispute resolution, as well as specific information about
attorneys' obligations under Rule 5."
Guide is being widely distributed to courts, attorneys, and
approved court-connected ADR providers throughout the Commonwealth.
Copies may be obtained by contacting Timothy Linnehan, Trial
Court Coordinator of ADR Services, 2 Center Plaza, Boston,
MA 02108, (617) 878-0372.