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

Find application materials, requirements, and deadlines for 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

You will need to fill out either the The Application for New Programs or the The Re-Application for Existing Programs. The application consists of:

  • 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 (Form 1 & Form 2), or the alternative method
  • Letters of support for the application (optional)

Before applying, please review our program eligibility requirements.

A program looking to be approved must certify in the application that its neutrals meet the requirements of Rule 8 and the accompanying Guidelines declared by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management. A summary of the requirements of Rule 8 and the guidelines are included with the program application. 

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 7 categories of neutrals: 

  • Mediators 
  • Arbitrators 
  • Case evaluator 
  • Conciliators 
  • Mini-trial neutrals 
  • Summary jury trial neutrals
  • Dispute intervenors 

Limited Exemption. In addition to the list of neutrals who meet the standard training requirement or the alternative method, some neutrals in existing programs are 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 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) still has to list those neutrals on Form 2.

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

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

All departments require applications be delivered in person or by mail. No email submissions will be accepted or allowed. Please see More info below for a list of the Chief Justices and their addresses.

All departments require applications be delivered in person or by mail. No email submissions will be accepted or allowed. Please see More info below for a list of the Chief Justices and their addresses.

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 don't accept electronic applications, the Executive Office of the Trial Court needs a copy of your application to each department. Please email 1 copy of the application to ADR@jud.state.ma.us.

  2. Application decisions

    An application will be approved or disapproved based only on its contents. Therefore, all applicants should answer the questions as completely and descriptively as possible. The Chief Justice’s decision about whether a program is approved or not in their department is final. An approved program will be eligible to provide court-connected dispute resolution services beginning on January 2, 2019. Once approved to provide dispute resolution services, a program in good standing is approved for 3 years, ending on December 31, 2021.

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

  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 starting on January 2, 2019.
     
  4. Once approved to provide dispute resolution services, a program in good standing keeps its approval for 3 years, ending on December 31, 2021.
     

Re-application Process. Except in cases where there’s a demonstrated court need, the next application process will be from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2025. Demonstrated court need is a court division or department without a program to serve a particular type of case, a vacancy due to a program being removed 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.

Addresses

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. Gordon H. Piper
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
3 Center Plaza, Suite 210
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

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