The New York State Office of Court Administration has announced that it has set guidelines as to the qualifications of mediators and arbitrators used by the courts for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The new rules have course requirements as a prequisite to be added to the courts’ rosters of mediators and arbitrators as well as continuing legal education requirements every two years. It should be noted that the vast majority of mediators and arbitrators on the court lists are highly qualified and experienced retired judges and trial lawyers. Nonetheless, some uniformity in qualifications and training is never a bad thing.
The courts’ new rules evidence that courts are embracing ADR and recognize that ADR is necessary since the court system lacks the capacity to settle and try every case.
Mark E. Seitelman, 7/24/08, www.seitelman.com