Saturday, April 10, 2010

Court Works to Encourage Settlements

When Riverside attorney Joseph P. Myers went to law school in the late 1960s, he recalled there were no courses in mediation. Civil litigation lawyers were expected to be warriors in court.

Now Myers is one of about 90 attorneys in the Riverside County court's alternative dispute resolution program, committed to getting cases settled by a sort of diplomatic shuttling between parties to see if they can reach an agreement.

"It is not easy, going from protecting clients' interests and beating the other side to suggesting compromises" when he is called from his trial lawyer work to act as a mediator, Myers said.

While the program is not quite a year old, and not enough numbers have returned to define how it is doing, participating lawyers such as Myers say it is making a big difference in Riverside's once-jammed civil courts.

The mediation program began in April 2009, just as the Riverside County courts started moving civil cases more quickly to trial after years of backlog while criminal cases were heard in civil courts.

Full Article and Source:
Court Works to Encourage Settlements


StandUp said...

Mediation and reaching settlements are the closest things we have to true "justice".

The courts aren't about what's right and what's wrong. Instead, court proceedings are all about maneuvering and procedure. Justice isn't even present.

Norma said...

MEDIATION is key to settling family disputes and keeping people out of court, thus avoiding guardianship or conservatorship.

Mike said...

I can't imagine lawyers letting mediation happen on a routine basis.

Without conflict, they couldn't keep litigation going and going while they bill and bill!

Anonymous said...

Settlements are probably only encouraged with public defender and cases not generating big bucks. Isn't that what are justice system has become... a legal procedure for theft?