For specific and current information on the operation of each federal district court and court of appeals ADR program, go to the U.S. Courts Court Locator, click on the link to a particular federal court's web site, and look for information about its ADR program.
For an overview of the federal district court ADR programs, see the Federal Judicial Center's ADR and Settlement in the Federal District Courts: A Sourcebook for Judges & Lawyers
For an overview of the federal appeals court ADR programs, see the Federal Judicial Center's Mediation & Conference Programs in the Federal Courts of Appeals: A Sourcebook for Judges and Lawyers
** Note: The Federal Judicial Center's publications are several years old, and many programs have changed. The most current information can be found at the U.S. Courts website.
1. What type of neutrals are offered in the court program?
- staff mediators
- mediators/neutral evaluators/arbitrators, either paid or pro bono
- settlement judges
2. How do the court programs operate?
- mandatory referral by judge, by court adr administrator, by case type
- voluntary referral by parties
- combination of both
- immediately after complaint filed
- within 90 days of trial or some defined time frame
- as selected by the parties or the judge
- if the timing of the ADR proceeding is set by the court, would filing a motion requesting a different time frame be beneficial
Compensation of Neutrals
- on a volunteer basis
- fee split by parties & fee set by the court
- fee split by parties at market rate
- combination of pro bono & compensation schemes
- scope defined by court rule? case law? contract?
- practical operation of confidentiality between neutrals and judges: i.e. is there a strong wall of confidentiality between court and neutrals?
- does the court appoint the neutral
- do the parties select jointly from a list or any other sources
- if the court appoints the neutral, would filing a motion requesting that the parties jointly select be beneficial
- what are the criteria for placement on the court roster
- what is the required training/mediation experience, if any