16.2 Alternative Dispute Resolution: General provisions
- ADR favored - The judges of this district favor alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods in those cases where the parties and the court agree that ADR may help resolve the case. The ADR methods approved by these rules include Voluntary Facilitative Mediation (LCivR 16.3); Early Neutral Evaluation (LCivR 16.4); Case Evaluation (LCivR 16.5); and Settlement Conferences (LCivR 16.6). In addition, the court will consider other ADR methods proposed by the parties (e.g., Summary Trials).
- Court administration of the ADR program
- Program description and administration - Each ADR program is governed by these rules and the provisions of a program description, which is incorporated into these rules by reference. The program description for each ADR method is available on the court’s website and is published in a form suitable for reference by attorneys and their clients. The ADR program is administered by the clerk’s office. Problems are initially handled by the ADR Administrator.
- Consideration of ADR in appropriate cases - In connection with the conference held pursuant to Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, all litigants and counsel must consider and discuss the use of an appropriate ADR process at a suitable stage of the litigation.
- Confidentiality - All ADR proceedings are considered to be compromise negotiations within the meaning of Fed. R. Evid. 408.
- Status of discovery, motions and trial during the ADR process - Any case referred to ADR continues to be subject to management by the judge to whom it is assigned. Parties may file motions and engage in discovery. Selection of a case for ADR has no effect on the normal progress of the case toward trial. Referral of a case to ADR is not grounds to avoid or postpone any deadline or obligation imposed by the case management order unless so ordered by the court.
- Qualifications for neutrals - To be qualified to act as a neutral (i.e., facilitative mediator, early neutral evaluator, case evaluator, or arbitrator), an attorney must satisfy all special requirements applicable to a particular ADR program as identified in the program description available on the court’s website.
- Attorneys’ responsibility for payment of fees - The attorney or law firm representing a party participating in ADR is directly responsible for fees payable to the court or to neutrals. Pro se parties are personally responsible for fees. To the extent consistent with ethical rules, the attorney or firm may seek reimbursement from the client. If any attorney or pro se party is delinquent in paying any fee required to be paid to a neutral under these rules, the neutral may petition the court for an order directing payment, and any judge assigned to the case may order payment, upon pain of contempt.
- Pro bono service - In cases in which one or more parties cannot afford the fees of a neutral, the court may request that the neutral serve pro bono, by waiving or reducing the fee for the indigent party. All other parties are expected to pay the full fee.
Date Last Modified:
January 1, 2019