Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

Review our application materials, requirements, and deadlines when applying as a new or returning ADR program.

Coordinator of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services

The Details of Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

What you need for Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

The application (see Downloads) has the following parts:

  • Cover sheet, which includes the Certification
  • Extension of Services for Existing Programs, if applicable
  • 15 narrative questions
  • List of Neutrals who satisfy the qualification standards in the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution (Forms 1 & 2)
  • Letters of support to its application (optional)

Before applying, please review our program eligibility requirements.

How to apply Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

A program seeking to be approved must certify in the application that its neutrals meet the requirements of Rule 8 and the accompanying Guidelines promulgated by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management. A summary of the requirements of Rule 8 and the Guidelines are enclosed with the Program Application. Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution and the Guidelines can be found here: ADR Resources: Forms and Documents

All neutrals must satisfy the qualification standards found in Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution in order to perform court-connected alternative dispute resolution services. Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution took effect January 1, 2005. The rule establishes requirements for training, evaluation, mentoring, continuing education and evaluation for the following seven (7) categories of neutrals: mediators, arbitrators, case evaluator, conciliators, mini-trial neutrals, summary jury trial neutrals and dispute intervenors. In addition, Rule 8 provides an alternative method for meeting these requirements. See More Info and Downloads for details on neutrals.

Please be advised that all Departments require that all applications be hand delivered or sent by mail. No email submissions will be accepted or allowed by the Trial Court departments.

A program seeking to be approved must certify in the application that its neutrals meet the requirements of Rule 8 and the accompanying Guidelines promulgated by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management. A summary of the requirements of Rule 8 and the Guidelines are enclosed with the Program Application. Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution and the Guidelines can be found here: ADR Resources: Forms and Documents

All neutrals must satisfy the qualification standards found in Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution in order to perform court-connected alternative dispute resolution services. Rule 8 of the Uniform Rules of Dispute Resolution took effect January 1, 2005. The rule establishes requirements for training, evaluation, mentoring, continuing education and evaluation for the following seven (7) categories of neutrals: mediators, arbitrators, case evaluator, conciliators, mini-trial neutrals, summary jury trial neutrals and dispute intervenors. In addition, Rule 8 provides an alternative method for meeting these requirements. See More Info for details on neutrals.

Please be advised that all Departments require that all applications be hand delivered or sent by mail. No email submissions will be accepted or allowed by the Trial Court departments.

Next steps for Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

  1. Email application to the Executive Office of the Trial Court

    While individual Trial Court departments do not accept electronic applications, the Executive Office of the Trial Court requires a copy of your application to each applicable department. One copy of the application must be emailed to ADR@jud.state.ma.us.

  2. Application Decisions

    An application will be approved or disapproved based on its contents alone. All applicants should, therefore, answer the questions as completely and descriptively as possible. The decision of the Chief Justice of the appropriate department of the Trial Court is final as to whether or not a program is approved in that department.

More info about Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

Application Dates

  1. All programs seeking approval shall, no later than Friday, November 16, 2018, submit the Program Application form to the Trial Court Department or Departments in which the program seeks to receive referrals.
     
  2. The Departmental Chief Justices will make approval decisions and notify programs by December 31, 2018.
     
  3. An approved program will be eligible to provide court-connected dispute resolution services commencing on January 2, 2019.
     
  4. Once approved to provide dispute resolution services, a program in good standing retains its approval for a period of three years ending on December 31, 2021.
     
  5. Re-application Process. Except for cases of demonstrated court need, the next application process will be from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2025.

Demonstrated court need, is defined as a court division or department without a program to serve a particular type of case, a vacancy due to the removal of a program from the current approved list, or, a need for additional services. Note: If any interim approvals were made pursuant to the “demonstrated court need” criterion since the last approval process, they will expire on December 31, 2018, requiring re-application in accordance with the uniform application process, as an existing program.

Neutrals

Standard Training Requirement or the Alternative Method. A program seeking approval or re-approval must complete and submit with its application a list of its neutrals who meet the standard training requirement, or the alternative method. Please see Form 1 found in the Program Application.

Limited Exemption. In addition to the list of neutrals who meet the standard training requirement or the alternative method, some neutrals in existing programs remain qualified under the limited exemption. The Limited Exemption was created as a one time exemption for mediators, arbitrators, case evaluators and conciliators from the training, mentoring and evaluation requirements of Rule 8. This exception is based on certain experience-based criteria found in Rule 8(k)(iii). This exemption has now expired for all new programs. However, a program that previously qualified its neutrals pursuant to Rule 8(k)(iii) is still required to list those neutrals on Form 2 found in the Program Re-application.

Roster. In addition to submission with your re-application, you must submit annually to the Chief Justice in the department you serve your list of neutrals in the applicable categories above. Please calendar that obligation for the next 3 years.

Addressees

The names and addresses for the Chief Justices of each Department are:

Hon. Roberto Ronquillo, Jr.
Boston Municipal Court Department
Edward Brooke Courthouse, 6th Floor
24 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114-4703

Hon. Judith C. Cutler
Land Court Department
Suffolk County Courthouse, 5th Floor
Three Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108

Hon. Paul C. Dawley
District Court Department
Administrative Office of the District Court
24 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114-4703

Hon. John D. Casey
Probate and Family Court Department
John Adams Courthouse, Mezzanine Level
One Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108

Hon. Amy L. Nechtem
Juvenile Court Department
One Center Plaza, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Hon. Judith Fabricant
Superior Court Department
Suffolk County Courthouse, 13th Floor
Three Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108

Hon. Timothy F. Sullivan
Housing Court Department
Edward Brooke Courthouse, 6th Floor
24 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114-4703

Downloads for Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

Contact for Apply as a new or existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program

Feedback

Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? * required
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.

If you need to report child abuse, any other kind of abuse, or need urgent assistance, please click here.

Feedback