Judge Mason to Chair Trial Court ADR Committee
Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan has named Springfield District Court Judge Mark D. Mason to chair the Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution, which has been chaired since its inception by Hampshire County Probate and Family Court First Justice Gail P. Perlman who will retire in the spring.
"I am pleased that Judge Mason has agreed to assume the leadership on this issue," said Chief Justice Mulligan. "The focus on ADR in the Trial Court has been the result of collaboration between the Trial Court, the Bar and the public at large. The current fiscal constraints in the Trial Court enhance the value of this option for litigants.
"I thank Judge Perlman for her thoughtful diplomacy in ably guiding the Standing Committee's efforts," he continued. "As a member of the SJC Committee that had drafted the Uniform Rules on ADR, Judge Perlman has led the Committee in promoting the implementation of ADR as an efficient case management tool for courts, as well as making ADR a meaningful option to litigation for litigants. The Committee's work is a reflection of the dedication its members have for a judicial system which promotes access to justice through a variety of measures."
The Standing Committee has successfully implemented and overseen the Commonwealth's court-connected dispute resolution services in the Trial Court since it was formed in 2005 to advise the CJAM on these issues. The 20-member Committee assists programs, judges, Trial Court employees and litigants to make use of conflict resolution options as part of the modern justice system. It is comprised of judges and court personnel from all Trial Court Departments, along with attorneys and providers of dispute resolution services. The list of members is available at the link below.
"I am pleased to continue Judge Perlman's fine work on ADR," said Judge Mason. "It is widely recognized that ADR avails the public of a cost-effective, expeditious and meaningful supplement to litigation. Court-connected ADR programs promote the public's right to self-determination in the manner in which their disputes are resolved in a manner consistent with the effective administration of justice.
"In fiscally challenging times, ADR provides a unique opportunity to improve access to justice at a cost saving to the Commonwealth. ADR facilitates the administration of cases through early and successful case resolution. As the new Chair, I hope that the Committee will continue to improve ADR efficiency and productivity despite budget constraints, as we exercise the degree of analysis, pragmatism and sensitivity which has been this Committee's hallmark."