Dispute resolution programs, mandatory dispute resolution and pre

Document Sample
Dispute resolution programs, mandatory dispute resolution and pre Powered By Docstoc
					         Family Justice Reform Working Group

                   Dispute Resolution Programs,
                  Mandatory Dispute Resolution and
                        Pre-Action Protocols
                     in Separation and Divorce




                    Jurisdictional Summaries




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004
                                                Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 2

PART A: SUMMARIES OF PROGRAMS IN TWENTY JURISDICTIONS ........... 4
   AUSTRALIA ...................................................................................................................... 5
   CANADA - QUEBEC (SUPERIOR COURT) ........................................................................... 5
   CHINA .............................................................................................................................. 6
   ENGLAND AND WALES..................................................................................................... 7
   GERMANY ........................................................................................................................ 8
   HONG KONG .................................................................................................................... 9
   JAPAN .............................................................................................................................. 9
   NETHERLANDS ............................................................................................................... 10
   NEW ZEALAND .............................................................................................................. 11
   SINGAPORE .................................................................................................................... 11
   UNITED STATES ............................................................................................................. 12
     U.S. – Alaska............................................................................................................. 12
     U.S. – California (County of Sacramento)................................................................ 12
     U.S. – Illinois ............................................................................................................ 13
     U.S. – New Hampshire.............................................................................................. 14
     U.S. – New Jersey ..................................................................................................... 14
     U.S. – New York ........................................................................................................ 15
     U.S. – North Carolina............................................................................................... 16
     U.S. – Texas .............................................................................................................. 16
     U.S. – Utah................................................................................................................ 17
     U.S. – Washington D.C. ............................................................................................ 18
PART B: FURTHER DETAIL ON SELECTED JURISDICTIONS ........................ 19

PART C: BIBLIOGRAPHY BY JURISDICTION ..................................................... 90




                                                                   1
Introduction
The purpose of this document is to provide a list of jurisdictions that have programs of
interest to the Family Justice Reform Working Group in three categories:

   1.      DR programs in general (including court-annexed programs) relating to
           separation and divorce;
   2.      Provisions requiring mandatory dispute resolution attempts before
           commencing a civil action relating to separation and divorce; and
   3.      Pre-Action Protocols, particularly with respect to disputes involving
           separation and divorce.

We have conducted wide-ranging research to develop this list. Not surprisingly, we have
found that many of the programs contain elements that fall into two or more of these
three categories. As a result, in order to avoid duplication, we have provided one list of
potential jurisdictions with brief descriptions of the relevant programs. Once the final
jurisdictions are selected we will use the detailed data collection template (as amended)
to describe all of the key features of each program and will differentiate in each case
between the three categories.

The information provided in this document is intended to provide a high level overview
of each program in order to enable the Working Group to select those jurisdictions that
deserve further research. Based on the information available, there are many unanswered
questions about these programs. These questions will be addressed, as appropriate, in the
next stage of more detailed research.

As discussed, we have focused our research on programs relating to family law matters
(separation, divorce and ancillary relief). In some instances, however, the programs in
question span a number of areas of law and legal issues. Once again, during the next
phase of the research we will be able to investigate more fully the implications of the
program for family law matters.

We found that information was readily available for English-speaking jurisdictions in
North America, Australia/New Zealand and the U.K. Information was not so easily
accessible, largely due to language issues, for other parts of the world. In particular:

        China and South East Asia – we have provided details of programs in Singapore,
        Hong Kong, China and Japan. However, we understand that there may be other
        programs of interest in that region (Korea, for example). The approach to dispute
        resolution in this region has some very interesting cultural components but these
        differences may mean they are not a priority at this time.
        Africa – we know that Nigeria has recently implemented a “Multi-Door
        Courthouse” in Lagos. However, information about this program and about
        programs in other African countries such as South Africa is difficult to locate.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         2
       Europe – we have obtained some information about programs in France, Germany
       and the Netherlands (as well as the U.K.). We understand that there may be
       programs of interest in Spain and Portugal.
       South America – there is some indication that Argentina may have implemented
       some DR programs but, again, this information is not readily available.

With some additional time we would be happy to investigate these other options. We
look forward to your instructions in that regard.

We would be pleased to discuss this list with you and to answer any questions you may
have. We look forward to receiving your direction with respect to which jurisdictions
and programs you would like us to research in more detail.




Kari D. Boyle
Arsen Krekovic




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004       3
Part A:



Summaries of Programs in Twenty Jurisdictions




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004   4
Australia
    I.       ADR in the Family Courts of Australia (Federal - All throughout
             Australia except for the State of Western Australia):
Attendance at a “Case Assessment Conference” is usually compulsory for anyone starting
proceedings in the Family Court. Parties have the chance to try to reach an agreement
with the aid of a Deputy Registrar (a court lawyer) and/or a Court Mediator. If the parties
do not reach an agreement they will be ordered to take part in further mediation with a
Court Mediator or/and in a “Conciliation Conference” with a Deputy Registrar.
Mediation can be, and generally is, ordered by the Court under the Family Law Act at
any time after an application has been filed where there is a dispute about children. The
aim of the Conciliation Conference is to discuss and if possible, help parties reach an
agreement on the financial issues arising from the breakdown of their marriage.
Attendance at a Conciliation Conference is usually compulsory for anyone involved in
property proceedings in the Family Court.
    II.      Pre-Action Protocols (Family Court of Australia):
Family Law Rules require prospective parties to genuinely try to resolve their dispute
before starting an action. Except in limited circumstances all prospective parties must:

•      Participate in dispute resolution services, such as mediation, counselling, or
  arbitration.
•      If dispute resolution is unsuccessful, write to the other parties, setting out their
  claim and exploring options for settlement.
•      Comply, as far as practicable, with the duty of full and frank disclosure of all
  information relevant to the issues in dispute.

Anyone who does not comply with these requirements (unless exempt), risks serious
consequences, including costs penalties.


Canada - Quebec (Superior Court)
On September 1st 1997, a new law concerning family mediation came into force in
Québec. This law allows couples with children -- whether legally married or common-
law spouses -- to be provided with the services of a professional mediator during the
negotiation and settlement of their application for separation, divorce, child custody,
spousal or child support or for the review of an existing decision.
The parties to the dispute may resort to mediation before instituting judicial proceedings
or even during proceedings if they disagree on one or more of the following issues:
    •     child custody;

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004          5
   •   access rights;
   •   the amount of spousal or child support;
   •   the partition of family patrimony;
   •   other rights resulting from the marriage;
Before the case is heard by the court, the parties are required to attend an information
session on mediation. This session may take place either before or after your application
is submitted to the court. If the parties then choose to go before the court, the court may
during the examination of the contested application, decide it is appropriate to order the
spouses to undertake mediation.
In the case of a couple with children, the Service de médiation familiale will pay the
mediator's fee for six sessions (including the information session if applicable). Though
the parties are entitled to call on the mediator of their choice, in order to obtain this
service free of charge they must choose a mediator whose fee corresponds to the rate
prescribed by law, which is $95 per session. The parties may choose between a mediator
(certified by one of five court recognized associations) from the legal field (attorney or
notary) and a mediator from the psychosocial field (psychologist, social worker, guidance
counsellor or an employee of a Youth Protection Centre).

China
There are four types of mediation in China: Civil Mediation; Judicial Mediation;
Administrative Mediation and Arbitration Mediation. With respect to Judicial Mediation
in family law cases, Article 31 of China’s Marriage Law 1980 states that a divorce shall
be granted if both the husband and wife desire it. Both parties must apply to the marriage
registration office for divorce. Under Article 32, when one party alone desires a divorce,
the party may appeal directly to a “people's court” to start divorce proceedings. In dealing
with a divorce case, the people's court carries out mediation between the parties to broker
reconciliation. Divorce is granted if mediation fails.
Once divorced, the parents are expected to reach an agreement on custody, visitation
rights, and the disposition of the property in the joint possession. If they fail to reach an
agreement, the people's court shall make a judgment. However, judges in China routinely
attempt to mediate a case during court proceedings as they have the authority to
“encourage” the parties to mediate at any time. If successful, the parties sign a mediation
agreement containing the details of the settlement. Mediated settlements cannot be
appealed and for this reason are less troublesome for judges than judicial judgment. The
courts through which formal mediation settlements are reached are permitted to log in the
case as formally resolved. A mediated settlement counts as a successful resolution and it
can never be overturned.
When mediating cases, courts may be presided over by a sole judge or by a collegiate
panel and the courts may invite relevant entities or individuals to assist in coming to an
agreement (i.e. witnesses).

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004          6
Civil Mediation involves a system of grass-roots “People’s Mediation Committees”. This
system originated in ancient China and operates outside of the judicial system to assist
communities to resolve disputes involving their own members.

England and Wales
   I.      Alternate Dispute Resolution

In England and Wales, the Access to Justice Act 1999 makes it compulsory for a party
seeking a divorce who wishes to apply for legal aid funding to attend a mediation session
if the other party is willing to participate. The purpose is to assess whether or not the
dispute is suitable for mediation before the application for state funding can be
considered. The Act does not make family mediation compulsory. However, it requires
the applicant to attend a meeting arranged to explain the mediation facilities available and
provides an opportunity for both parties to agree to mediation. Legal aid will be refused if
mediation has been determined suitable by a mediator and the applicant refuses to
proceed. The Act also makes mediation, paid for out of public funds, available for those
separated and divorcing parties who are eligible for legal aid.

Within the context of a divorce the process of resolving financial issues between the
parties (division of property, maintenance, etc) is referred to as “Ancillary Relief.” The
revised ancillary relief procedure, which has been piloted in 29 courts since October
1996, has been extended throughout England and Wales from 5 June 2000. The revised
procedure is designed to control the cost and length of ancillary relief proceedings
through judicial case management, strict timetabling, and controlled disclosure.
The new procedure encourages couples to settle their financial disputes at a mandatory
Financial Dispute Resolution appointment (FDR) chaired by a judge, with cases
proceeding to a full court hearing only if agreement cannot be reached. There is also a
provision for judges to adjourn cases for the parties to go to mediation if that is
appropriate.
   II.     Pre-Action Protocols
There are presently six approved pre-action protocols which came into operation on
various dates between April 1999 and March 2002. They are the Personal Injury,
Clinical Negligence, Construction and Engineering Disputes, Defamation, Professional
Negligence and Judicial Review pre-action protocols. To date there are no pre-action
protocols for family law matters. However, we are providing some information on these
other areas since it may assist in determining the applicability of pre-action protocols to
family law in B.C.

These were developed in close consultation with interest groups involved in litigation in
the areas in question and vary in their detail and scope. Typically, these protocols:

(a) identify the cases to which they apply and state their objectives;



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004          7
(b) prescribe the information and documents which the claimant must give to the
prospective defendant when notifying him of the claim;
(c) require the defendant to acknowledge the claim and to respond with specified
information and documents if he does not accept it; and,
(d) lay down a timetable for these exchanges.

Some of the protocols specify additional requirements, for instance, as to how experts
should be dealt with, as to the holding of a pre-action meeting, or as to the need to
consider ADR. Templates for claim letters and responses are also sometimes included.

Where a case is not covered by one of the approved protocols, the parties are subject to
the Practice Direction on Protocols which requires them "to act reasonably in exchanging
information and documents relevant to the claim and generally in trying to avoid the
necessity for the start of proceedings." This normally involves:

(a) the claimant writing to give details of the claim;
(b) the defendant acknowledging the claim letter promptly;
(c) the defendant giving within a reasonable time a detailed written response; and
(d) the parties conducting genuine and reasonable negotiations with a view to settling the
claim economically and without court proceedings.
As with the approved protocols, the Practice Direction requires information to be
exchanged in considerable detail.

Germany
The year 2000 saw the introduction of a federal mediation law (" Einführungsgesetz zur
Zivilprozeßordnung" or "EGZPO") that permits all German states ("Länder") to launch
mandatory court-connected mediation with respect to certain kinds of civil disputes. The
first state Mediation Law enacted in Germany, was the Bavarian Mediation Law
("Bayerisches Schlichtungsgesetz" or "BaySchlG").

To qualify for mandatory mediation, the disputes must fall into one of three categories.
They must be either: (1) financial disputes before the Magistrates Court up to a litigation
value of EURO 750 (2) certain neighbourhood disputes, or (3) defamation disputes.
However, the mandatory mediation requirement does not apply to family disputes.
EGZPO empowers state parliaments to legislate mandatory mediation in the above-
mentioned cases as a prerequisite to formally beginning court proceedings. This means
where the states enact corresponding legislation, all disputes that meet those criteria must,
as a pre-action protocol, be mediated before court proceedings can be instituted.
However, German states are not obliged to legislate on mandatory mediation; EGZPO
merely puts the legal mechanisms to do so at their disposal.

With the intention of promoting flexibility of the mediation process, minimal guidelines
for conducting a mediation appear in the BaySchlG. The guidelines include reference to
addressing the interests of the parties, joint and private meetings, and the possibility of
suggestions for a potential agreement being put forward by the mediator. Apart from
Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         8
these matters, the process adapted in any given mediation lies within the discretion of the
mediator.

Hong Kong
The Pilot Scheme on Family Mediation, funded and monitored by the Judiciary, was
launched in May of 2000, and is ongoing. The post of full-time Mediation Co-ordinator,
with the support of a full-time secretary and a clerk was created. The Mediation Co-
ordinator's Office was accommodated in the Family Court to give a clear indication to
legal practitioners and litigants of the court's full support for mediation. The mediations
are either free or provided for a nominal fee.

When matrimonial proceedings are instituted

1. When one spouse consults a solicitor and decides to institute matrimonial proceedings,
the solicitor is required to:

(a) advise of the availability of mediation and how it may assist in the proceedings; and
(b) give the information leaflet on mediation prepared by the Mediation Co-ordinator.

2. As proof that the solicitor has fulfilled these requirements, the solicitor is required to
file a “Petitioner’s Certificate as to Mediation,” signed by the petitioner and the solicitor.

3. If the petitioner indicates a wish to attempt mediation the Certificate is filed with the
Mediation Co-ordinator.

4. The Co-ordinator writes to the other party seeking his/her consent to participate. If the
other party consents, the Co-ordinator arranges for both to attend an information session.


Japan
Japan has a long history of government sponsored mediation programs. In Japan, court-
connected family mediation (kaji chotei), is regulated by the Law for the Determination
of Family Affairs Act (1947). Family Courts are tied to each District Court, as well as
having 200 branch offices throughout the country. Mediation is compulsory for Family
Court cases and the powers of a Family Court are largely limited to mediation. If a
settlement cannot be reached between the parties, the case is transferred to District Court.

Court annexed mediation processes are held at Court and under the supervision of a judge
(mediations are not public). To proceed with mediation, the court appoints a mediation
committee that consists of one judge and two mediators who will take responsibility for
the case. Mediators are employed by the local courts and handle cases under the
jurisdiction of the local court. Each family court and local court has its own list of
mediators. However, the power to appoint mediators belongs to the Supreme Court. The
Supreme Court appoints mediators from a list of applicants selected by the local courts.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004          9
Under the Japanese model, the mediators can examine persons or places involved,
summon witnesses, and/or procure expert opinions. The mediation procedure often
resembles a chain of private caucuses. In general, each disputant meets the mediators
individually at every conference, so that there is almost no chance that the disputants
meet and negotiate with each other.

Court-connected mediation proceedings often extend over several months with either
party or the court-connected mediation committee free to terminate the mediation at any
time. The committee may terminate the court-connected mediation if there is no
expectation of agreement. If the parties decide to settle, the outcome is registered in
court, as long as it is not contrary to law or public policy. Subsequently, a formal
mediation agreement ("chosho") is drawn up. Then, the court-connected mediation is
deemed to have concluded and the chosho has the same effect as an absolute judgment.


Netherlands
In 1993 the Nederlands Mediation Instituut (Netherlands Mediation Institute – NMI) was
formally established as a foundation, with the main purpose of informing the people at
large about mediation and stimulating and furthering the practise and quality of mediation.
According to the 2001 NMI data, three areas stand out in terms of caseload: family disputes
(618 cases registered since 1999, being 44 % of all registered cases), labour disputes (345
cases, being 25 % of all cases) and commercial disputes (184 cases, 13 % of all cases).
NMI maintains a register of accredited NMI-mediators and liaises with other institutions
and government departments. To be registered as a NMI-mediator one must have attended
(with success) one of the NMI-accredited mediation training courses. NMI has its own
mediation and disciplinary rules, code of conduct, and complaint procedure, which the
NMI-mediator has to comply with. To date, there are more than 2000 NMI-mediators.
Starting in 2000, the Ministry of Justice instituted the alternative dispute resolution and
mediation project. It encompasses two specific projects: “Court Encouraged Mediation”
and “Mediation and Legal Aid.” In both these two projects, the parties are asked to
participate on a voluntary basis.
In the Court Encouraged Mediation project, mediation is provided as an extra service
during a court procedure. At the hearing, the judge handling the case may refer the parties
to a mediator. If such mediation appears unsuccessful, the court procedure will be resumed.
The judge is not informed of the negotiations during the mediation in the event that the
court case is resumed. The mediation procedure is free of charge for the parties. The
mediator, however, receives a fixed fee, which is directly paid by the Ministry of Justice.
The main goal of the Mediation and Legal Aid project is to resolve disputes by mediation,
before a court procedure is initiated. The emphasis is on prevention. A major requirement is
that at least one of the parties is entitled to legal aid. If both parties are entitled to legal aid,
they both pay a fee based on their income as they would for a court procedure. If a
procedure is initiated following mediation, this fee does not have to be paid again. If one of


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             10
the parties is not entitled to legal aid, half of the costs of the mediation will be borne by that
party.



New Zealand

The New Zealand Family Court was established in 1981. The first possible level of
dispute resolution in a family case is counselling. If this does not settle the matter, then a
mediation conference is held. If mediation fails to bring resolution, then the final step is
adjudication.

The Family Courts Act 1980 established the post of Counselling Co-ordinator, whose
duty is to facilitate the proper functioning of the Family Court and of counselling and
related services, such as mediation. The Co-ordinator is an officer of the court. There are
40 Co-ordinators based at 24 Family Courts who make referrals to 500 private
individuals or agencies throughout New Zealand for counselling.

Couples may approach the Court for counselling while they are still together or in the
process of separating, or after they have separated. Counselling can take place before
proceedings have been filed or at any stage after proceedings have begun. The Court can
also direct a couple to attend counselling if a custody or maintenance order has been
applied for. Discretionary counselling is available when the court considers, at any stage
of the proceedings, that such counselling may promote reconciliation or conciliation.

Where the parties have been unable to resolve their problems with counselling, spouses
are able to request a mediation conference, or it may be referred by a Family Court judge.
Virtually all custody, access, guardianship and domestic violence applications are
referred for counselling or mediation. A family court judge chairs the mediation
conference.


Singapore
In accordance with Singapore’s Woman’s Charter, during the divorce proceedings a
judge may refer the parties for mediation or reconciliation counselling through a court-
based mediation process called Court Dispute Resolution (CDR). However, even when
referred to CDR, parties are allowed to opt out of it.

The Family Court of Singapore employs trained personnel to undertake conciliation and
mediation work. Its Registrars conduct conciliation conferences on property matters,
supplemented by volunteers in the Court Support Group with backgrounds in law, social
work, or psychology, who conduct mediation and counselling sessions on an ex gratia
basis. CDR is provided at no charge as part of the justice process.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004           11
The approach of the Singapore Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts is to encourage
parties to mediate early, preferably in advance of litigation by providing them with the
financial incentives to do so. Instead of mandating mediation, parties are encouraged to
use the Singapore Mediation Centre. In order to motivate parties, whose actions or
matters have not commenced in the civil courts to mediate, both the Supreme Court and
Subordinate Courts are prepared to waive or refund court hearing fees.

Singapore is also currently running a pilot multi-door courthouse. Rather than simply
adding all cases to the litigation docket, the multi-door courthouse directs disputants to
"intake specialists" who assess the disputes and determine the optimal routes to
resolution. Those routes may include assistance from community resource centers, early
neutral evaluation, mediation, arbitration, minitrial, summary jury trial, or litigation,
among others.


United States
We have reviewed all 52 states, but are only including those that have well documented
and new or unique provisions specifically relating to family law matters. Though there
are a number of states with similar programs to those reviewed in these summaries, they
have been left out in order to avoid duplication and are, in general, less well documented.
There is a wide variety of different approaches in these selected states:

U.S. – Alaska

During a court case parties can agree among themselves to mediate their dispute (the
court must be informed of this so that proceedings may be suspended), or a party can ask
the judge to order mediation under Civil Rule 100. The judge can order mediation if the
judge believes that mediation might help the parties resolve their case. In Alaska courts,
the parties are usually responsible for picking their own mediator and paying them.
However, the Alaska Court System has two court-based mediation programs that provide
free mediation services using court-selected mediators for certain types of cases:
        I. Access and Custody Mediation
The court system offers this program in Anchorage and is developing a similar program for
Fairbanks and possibly other locations. Parents involved in child custody and visitation disputes
can be referred by a judge to a court-selected mediator. Some income restrictions apply.

        II. Child in Need of Aid Mediation
The court system will offer this program in Anchorage and will develop similar programs in
Fairbanks and possibly other locations. Parents and others involved in child in need of aid
proceedings can be referred by a judge to mediator selected and trained by the court system. No
income restrictions apply.

U.S. – California (County of Sacramento)

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004           12
Family Code section 3170 requires child custody mediation take place whenever issues
of custody or visitation are in dispute. This applies whenever a "party to the case" wants
to obtain or change a custody or visitation order, and the other party does not agree to the
change. To receive mediation services, customers must have an established Family Law
case in Sacramento County. Child custody mediation is provided by the Office of Family
Court Services free of charge to the parties and generally occurs before the first court
appearance.
If parties do not reach agreements in all areas of the parenting plan, the mediator will
make recommendations to the court on the items still in dispute. In some cases, where
the court determines it is in the best interest of the child, the court may appoint a child
custody evaluator to conduct a child custody evaluation. The custody evaluation will
consider the health, safety and welfare, and best interests of the children with regard to
disputed custody and visitation issues. The evaluation may include interviews with the
parents, children, grandparents, or other parties who may be legally joined to the case.

U.S. – Illinois
In Illinois, mediation is most widely used in domestic relations cases. Statutory authority
for the court to refer parties to mediation is provided by the Illinois Marriage and
Dissolution of Marriage Act, which gives the courts authority to order mediation in
custody (1998) and visitation (1999) cases. There are 22 Illinois circuit courts numbered
1 through 21, plus the Circuit Court of Cook County. Fully half of Illinois’ judicial
circuits have rules for the mediation of custody, visitation and removal issues.
In the majority of domestic relations mediation programs in Illinois, parties are referred
by the court to for-fee providers who are either mental health professionals or lawyers.
Three notable exceptions to this are found in the Circuit Court of Cook County. All
divorcing couples in the county work with full-time staff mediators to resolve contested
issues of custody and visitation at no cost to the litigants. A related effort is the
facilitation program in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Established in 1997, this
program provides on-site facilitation during the early stages of domestic relations cases.
Facilitation is provided free by volunteers from the Chicago Bar Association.
A third program is the Unified Family Court Pilot Project in the 5th Municipal District of
the Circuit Court in Cook County (launched in 1998). In this program, two domestic
relations court employees also serve as case managers and mediators. In their role as case
managers, these individuals serve as the primary contact point for a family entering the
Domestic Relations Division and deal with all cases from filing to post-judgement. In
their role as mediators, these individuals mediate pre-judgment custody and visitation
issues.
All circuit or county mediation programs require mediators to hold either a law degree or
an advanced degree in either the human services or the behavioral sciences and
specialized training in family mediation is also required. Additional training particular to
screening for domestic violence and other impairments which may interfere with the
parties' ability to mediate fairly and safely is required by Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, and


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         13
McHenry County. Cook County mediators have training in the area of mental health,
including domestic violence issues and other impairments.

U.S. – New Hampshire
The Superior and the Family Court offer the opportunity for divorcing couples to go
through a Marital Neutral Evaluation Program. An evaluation may also take place by
order of the court. Experienced attorneys are approved by the Chief Justice of the
Superior Court and the Supervisor Justices of the Family Division to act as Neutral
Evaluators. The Neutral Evaluators are attorneys who have a minimum of five years of
active practice with substantial experience in family cases, who participate in a training
program sponsored by the court and then volunteer their services at no cost to the parties.
The goal of Neutral Case Evaluation is to help parties resolve the disputed issues in a less
formal and less intimidating setting.
The parties exchange and submit to the Neutral Evaluator a summary of the significant
aspects of their case. The summary includes a statement of those matters agreed to by the
parties and those matters which remain contested. The parties attach to the summary
copies of all documents, financial affidavits, proposed decrees and other documents the
parties deem relevant for a Neutral Evaluation.
The conversations that occur during a Neutral Evaluation are confidential and cannot be
held against either party if the cases go to trial. Some or all of the issues may be settled
during the Neutral Case Evaluation session. The Neutral Evaluator may explain to the
parties what in his/her estimate is the likely outcome of the unresolved issues given the
strengths and weakness of each case. The Neutral Evaluators determination can be
accepted or rejected by the parties.

U.S. – New Jersey
The Supreme Court has approved a variety of “Complementary Dispute Resolution”
(CDR) programs for use in the Municipal, Family, and Civil courts. Rules governing
CDR were established by the Court effective September 1, 1992. Some programs are
required by the Supreme Court for all vicinages (districts), and still others are optional for
vicinage implementation. The CDR programs listed below are the major ones which
vicinages have identified in their Comprehensive Justice Program plans. Those with
asterisks are available in every vicinage.

   •   Matrimonial Early Settlement Panels (MESPs)*

   •   Custody/Visitation Mediation*

   •   Family Mediation/Referee Programs

   •   Juvenile Probation Violation Programs
The Matrimonial Early Settlement Program (MESP) is a mandatory program which helps
divorcing parties settle contested financial issues in their divorce. Cases are scheduled
before a panel of two volunteer attorneys who hear arguments, review evidence, and then

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         14
make a recommendation. The recommendation is based on the panel’s determination as
to what is a fair settlement. Parties are free to accept, consider, modify or reject the
panel’s recommendation. Volunteer attorneys must have at least five years experience in
the practice of matrimonial law, and must be a member of the New Jersey Bar for at least
four years.

The New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on CDR has recently initiated a pilot
program for economic mediation in family law cases. All pilot counties currently oversee
matrimonial cases in which traditional MESP are utilized and completed before referral
to mediation. However, in all seven counties the parties may voluntarily request
economic mediation prior to or after the MESP.

U.S. – New York

The Unified Court System contracts with local not-for-profit organizations to provide
mediation, arbitration, group facilitation and other dispute resolution options as an
alternative to court. Throughout the state, Family Courts refer litigants to Community
Dispute Resolution Centres (CDRCs) and other agencies to obtain access to ADR. These
services are available in all 62 NY Counties.

CDRCs are funded to mediate child custody, visitation or support matters in the majority
of the state's 62 counties. Centers dedicate staff to accept referrals from Family Court,
screen cases, educate parties about the mediation process, schedule cases with trained
mediators, and provide advanced training for mediators.

"Child permanency cases" are those in which a plan is developed for children in abuse
and neglect, review of foster care placement, termination of parental rights and adoption
proceedings. Mediators in three counties facilitate meetings among parents, the parents'
attorneys, extended family members, social workers, and other stakeholders in child
permanency cases. In each of these counties, Family Court judges order mandatory child
permanency cases at different points in the litigation process. These meetings produce
permanency plans that are subject to court review and approval.

Supreme Court Matrimonial Neutral Evaluation Programs

This Supreme Court program is operation in three counties. Selected cases in Kings
County and Nassau County are referred to neutral evaluation by volunteer attorneys after
a preliminary conference, while in Erie County all new matrimonial cases are referred to
a court employed referee, in an effort to guide parties toward a negotiated resolution.

Supreme Court Custody / Visitation Mediation Programs

This program is run by the Schenectady County and Seventh Judicial District Supreme
Courts in partnership with Community Dispute Resolution Centers. The courts refer
parties in pending matrimonial cases to the CDRCs’ staff, who screen the cases and
schedule mediation sessions for appropriate child custody and visitation cases.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004       15
U.S. – North Carolina

The North Carolina Supreme Court oversees the Family Financial Settlement Program
(1997) which enables the Chief District Court Judge in any district to order a mediated
settlement conference or other settlement procedure in actions involving equitable
distribution, child support, alimony, or post-separation support. If the parties do not
notify the court that they have agreed to participate in one of the alternate procedures,
i.e., early neutral evaluation, a judicial settlement conference (where authorized locally),
or any other dispute resolution procedure authorized under local statute, they will be
ordered to participate in a mediated settlement conference.

The Family Financial Settlement Program is designed to be market driven in that parties
are encouraged to select their mediator or other neutral. When parties are ordered to
mediation, they may choose a mediator certified by the Dispute Resolution Commission
or they may nominate a non-certified mediator. If the parties cannot agree on who shall
mediate or take no action to select a mediator, a district court judge will appoint a
certified mediator to conduct the conference. Court appointed mediators are paid $125.00
per hour, plus a one time administrative fee of $125.00. A mediator selected by the
parties is compensated as agreed upon between the mediator and the parties.

In the event the parties agree to use one of the alternate procedures, they must also agree
on the identity of their neutral and the amount of compensation that will be paid their
neutral. The court cannot authorize use of an alternate procedure if the parties have not
agreed upon their neutral and the neutral's compensation and must refer the case to
mediation.

The Family Financial Settlement Program is designed to operate at no or minimal
expense to the taxpayers. It is a "user pay" program in that mediators' fees are to be paid
by the parties. However, in the event a party is determined to be unable to pay any or a
full share of a fee, mediators must offer their services to that party at no or reduced cost.
In addition, in districts where the judicial settlement conference alternative is available, it
is offered at no charge to the litigants.

U.S. – Texas

The Family Code encourages the use of ADR by requiring that an ADR statement
detailing the steps they have taken to settle the dispute be included in the first pleading
filed by the parties in several proceedings under the Family Code. Further research is
required to detail the ramifications of not attempting to settle the dispute prior to
attending court. Furthermore, Bill 1363 (2001) of the Family Code Chapter 153
"institutionalizes" the collaborative law process by adding to the Family Code new
sections respecting the dissolution of a marriage and suits relating to the parent-child
relationship. Central to the collaborative process is the idea that the parties and their
attorneys work as a “team”. The “team” may also include neutral experts for any issue

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004          16
that requires specific experts. The new sections, which are identical in content, permit
parties and their attorneys to agree to the use of the collaborative law process.

The agreement commits the parties to use good faith efforts to resolve matters without
intervention of the court, except for the approval of the settlement agreement and entry of
orders necessary to effectuate the agreement of the parties. The collaborative process
agreement must: (1) be in writing; (2) provide that the parties will make a full and candid
exchange of information; (3) include an agreement for suspension of court intervention so
long as the process is being used; (4) include an agreement for the retention of joint
experts; and (5) provide that counsel in the collaborative law process will not participate
in the litigation of the case if the process is not successful.

If a court is notified at least 30 days prior to trial that the parties have entered into the
collaborative law process, the court may not impose discovery deadlines, set the case for
trial, require compliance with a scheduling order, or dismiss the case. The bill sets forth
time requirements for reporting status of the case to the court and establishes an outside
limit of two years after which a court may set the case for trial or dismiss the case.

U.S. – Utah

In order to provide a speedy response to parents with parent-time (visitation) disputes, the
Utah State Legislature enacted the Co-parenting Mediation Program (1997). The purpose
of the Co-parenting mediation program is to help parents resolve parent-time (visitation)
disputes without formal court intervention and to foster a healthy climate in which
children may be raised. To fulfill its purpose, the program utilizes mediation to resolve
parent-time (visitation) disputes, recruiting and maintaining a roster of private,
professional mediators who conduct the mediation sessions. The program also provides
parent-time (visitation) services, and follows-up with the parties for six months after an
agreement is reached.
When a parent files a motion in the Third District Court alleging a dispute with court-
ordered parent-time (visitation), the clerk’s office will refer the case to the mediation
program. Once referred, each case will be screened for mediation and, if appropriate,
assigned to a mediator. Since this initial mediation is mandatory, parties must attend.
Non-attendance may be reported to the Court and sanctions may be imposed.
If the parties are able to successfully mediate their dispute, a Memorandum of
Understanding will be drafted and presented to the court for signature. The program will
maintain contact with the parties for up to six months after the mediation to ensure
compliance with the terms of the agreement. If the parties are unable to reach an
agreement, the court will be notified and the case will be referred back to litigation.
The cost of mediation and the cost of services required to facilitate parent-time
(visitation) will be split equally and paid by the parties. The mediator’s fee for sessions
conducted through the program is $75.00 per hour, due at the conclusion of the mediation
session.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         17
U.S. – Washington D.C.

The D.C. Superior Court Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division is the dispute
resolution center for the D.C. Superior Court. Created in 1985 as part of a pilot project
sponsored by the American Bar Association, it became a full operating division of the
court in 1989. There are four primary programs administered by the division:
           1. Small Claims Mediation Program
           2. Family Mediation Program
           3. Civil Dispute Resolution Program and
           4. Community Family Information and Referral Center
Matters before the Court automatically go before a trained Intake Specialist who decides
the most appropriate legal or social service or ADR method for resolving the dispute -
usually mediation, arbitration, or case evaluation. It is only after this procedure has been
followed that the dispute, if not settled, may proceed to Court.

The Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division has a full-time staff of nineteen people, but
its work is accomplished mainly by several hundred volunteers ("neutrals") who serve as
mediators, arbitrators, case evaluators and dispute resolution specialists. They receive a
nominal stipend to defer travel/parking costs. In an average year, more than 9000
separate matters are handled by the division's staff and volunteers.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         18
Part B:



Further Detail on Selected Jurisdictions




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004   19
Jurisdiction:            United Kingdom – England/Wales
Program Name:            Civil Procedure Rules: Pre-Action Protocols

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1   Jurisdiction Information:



2   Court Name:

County Court and Queens Bench.

3   Applicable Areas of law:
Pre-action protocols in the areas of clinical negligence and personal injury cases came into force
on 26 April 1999 in conjunction with the first part of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). Protocols
for Construction and Engineering Disputes and Defamation followed on 2 October 2000. A
further protocol on Professional Negligence came into force on 16 July 2001 followed by a
protocol for Judicial Review cases on 4 March 2002. Disease and Illness Claim and Housing
Disrepair Case protocols came into force in 8 December 2003. Practice directions outlining
general pre-action protocols for civil cases came into force in 2003.

There have been no pre-action protocols developed as yet in the area of family law. However, the
information below relates to the other areas, particularly in general civil cases, which may be
analogous to family matters.
4   Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
    Directions, Policy, Procedure)

Civil Procedure Rules.

5   Date instituted:

Introduced in April 1999, implementing many of the recommendations in Lord Woolf's final
report on “Access to Justice.”

6   Which locations and why any restrictions?

County Court and Queens Bench.

7   Broad Description of the Protocols:

In April 1999, wide-ranging reforms were introduced into the civil courts of England and Wales,
of which pre-action protocols were a part.
Pre-action protocols outline the steps parties should take to seek information from and to provide
information to each other about a prospective legal claim. The objectives of pre-action protocols
are:

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            20
    •   to encourage the exchange of early and full information about the prospective legal claim,

    •   to enable parties to avoid litigation by agreeing to a settlement of the claim before the
        commencement of proceedings,

    •   to support the efficient management of proceedings where litigation cannot be avoided.

The claimant’s central task in pre-action activities is to formulate a claim. The onus then passes to
the defendant to respond, in preparation either for settlement or litigation. The pre-action
protocols share a central concern. They each spell out what information claimant and defendant
must exchange and they establish a timetable for doing so.

In cases not covered by any of the approved protocols (such as family), the court will expect the
parties to comply with the general spirit of the protocols and act reasonably in exchanging
information and documents relevant to the claim and generally in trying to avoid the necessity for
the start of proceedings. “Pre-Action Behavior In Other Cases” is outlined in “Practice Direction
– Protocols”.

Alternate Dispute Resolution:

Alternative Dispute Resolution can be undertaken at any time once a dispute has arisen and the
pre-action protocols encourage the use of ADR before the issuance of a claim.

8    What steps are required?

The 30th update of the CPR (2003) contains a section on Pre-Action Behavior In Other Cases
(such as family cases) which includes the following practice directions:

4.2 Parties to a potential dispute should follow a reasonable procedure, suitable to their particular
circumstances, which is intended to avoid litigation. The procedure should not be regarded as a
prelude to inevitable litigation. It should normally include –

a) the claimant writing to give details of the claim;

b) the defendant acknowledging the claim letter promptly;

c) the defendant giving within reasonable time a detailed written response; and

d) the parties conducting genuine and reasonable negotiations with a view to settling the claim
economically and without court proceedings.

4.3 The claimant’s letter should –

a) give sufficient concise details to enable the recipient to understand and investigate the claim
without extensive further information;

b) enclose copies of the essential documents which the claimant relies on;

c) ask for a prompt acknowledgement of the letter, followed by a full written response within a
reasonable stated period;



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             21
(For many claims, a normal reasonable period for a full response may be one month.)

d) state whether court proceedings will be issued if the full response is not received within the
stated period;

e) identify and ask for copies of any essential documents, not in his possession, which the
claimant wishes to see;

f) state (if this is so) that the claimant wishes to enter into mediation or another alternative
method of dispute resolution; and

g) draw attention to the court's powers to impose sanctions for failure to comply with this practice
direction and, if the recipient is likely to be unrepresented, enclose a copy of this practice
direction.

The defendant is obliged to acknowledge the claimant’s letter within 21 days of receiving it,
stating when a full response will be given. If the time of this is longer than the period stated by
the claimant the defendant needs to give his/her reason(s).

The defendant can accept the claim in whole or in part, make a counter proposal, or reject the
claim.

4.6 If the defendant does not accept the claim or part of it, the response should –

a) give detailed reasons why the claim is not accepted, identifying which of the claimant's
contentions are accepted and which are in dispute;

(b) enclose copies of the essential documents which the defendant relies on;

(c) enclose copies of documents asked for by the claimant, or explain why they are not enclosed;

(d) identify and ask for copies of any further essential documents, not in his possession, which the
defendant wishes to see; and

(The claimant should provide these within a reasonably short time or explain in writing why he is
not doing so.)

(e) state whether the defendant is prepared to enter into mediation or another alternative method
of dispute resolution.

4.7 If the claim remains in dispute, the parties should promptly engage in appropriate negotiations
with a view to settling the dispute and avoiding litigation.
In any event claims should not be issued until at least three months after the initial letter of claim.

9    What Specific rules/procedures?

    •   Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)
    •   Practice Directions – Protocols
    •   Pre-Action Behavior in Other Cases 4.1 – 4.10




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              22
10 What types of DR protocols, if any, are included?

4.2 (d) the parties [will conduct] genuine and reasonable negotiations with a view to settling the
claim economically and without court proceedings.

11 How do the parties establish that the protocols have been met?

The court will expect all parties to have complied in substance with the terms of an approved
protocol and is not likely to be concerned with minor infringements of the practice direction or
protocols. Parties must submit a statement that they have complied with the pre-action protocols.
The court is likely to look at the effect of non-compliance on the other party when deciding
whether to impose sanctions (CPR, Practice Directions – Protocols, 3.4)

Either party to the dispute may bring an application to court to have the other party sanctioned for
not complying with pre-action protocols .


12 Sanctions for breach or non-compliance with the protocols?

The Civil Procedure Rules enable the court to take into account compliance or non-compliance
with an applicable protocol when giving directions for the management of proceedings and when
making orders for costs. So the court action can be commenced BUT the court can impose
penalties after the fact.

If, in the opinion of the court, non-compliance has led to the commencement of proceedings
which might otherwise not have needed to be commenced, or has led to unnecessary costs being
incurred in the proceedings, the orders the court may make include:

(1)                           an order that the party at fault pay the costs of the proceedings, or
       part of those costs, of the other party or parties;

(2)                          an order that the party at fault pay those costs on an indemnity basis;

(3)                        if the party at fault is a claimant in whose favour an order for the
       payment of damages or specified sum is made, an order depriving that party of interest on
       such sum or awarding interest at a lower rate than that at which interest would otherwise
       have been awarded;

(4)                          if the party at fault is a defendant and an order for the payment of
       damages or some specified sum is subsequently made in favour of the claimant, an order
       awarding interest on such sum and in respect of such period as may be specified at a
       higher rate, not exceeding 10% above base rate than the rate at which interest would
       otherwise have been awarded;

(5)                       an order striking out the claim of the complainant or striking out the
       defense and making a judgment (most punative order – rarely used).

The court will exercise its powers with the object of placing the innocent party in no worse a
position than he would have been in if the protocol had been complied with.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             23
The court is likely to treat the Pre-Action Protocols Practice Direction as indicating the normal,
reasonable way of dealing with disputes. If proceedings are issued and parties have not complied
with this practice direction or a specific protocol, it will be for the court to decide whether
sanctions should be applied.


13 Are sanctions being enforced by the courts? If so, how?

A continuing evaluation of the Civil Justice Reforms

The Law Society Woolf Network was established in April 1999 when the first part of the Civil
Procedure Rules came into force. It is made up of a group of about 130 solicitors who originally
gave a commitment to answer twice yearly questionnaires on how the reforms are working in
practice. This has since been reduced to once a year.

In the 3rd survey, published in February 2001, lawyers surveyed expressed concerns about
insufficient enforcement of rules and a general unwillingness to apply for sanctions against those
who did not stick to the pre-action protocols. Those surveyed stated that there was a feeling that
generally courts were unwilling to impose sanctions for non-compliance in all but the most
serious cases and that in only 31% of cases were sanctions imposed for breaches of the protocols.
‘Judicial inconsistency’ was widely reported as a deterrent to applications for sanctions as it was
likely to cause more delays and additional costs.

The case of Dunnett v Railtrack plc (in administration) [CA 22 Feb 2002] has been seen as a
major endorsement of Lord Woolf's exhortation to solicitors to mediate more and litigate less. In
this case the claimant asked for leave to appeal against a judgment in favour of the defendant. In
granting leave, the Court of Appeal advised both parties that they should consider the use of ADR
but the defendants refused. Following the hearing, the claimant's appeal was dismissed. However
the defendant was not awarded costs. Lord Justice Brooke said: "it is hoped that publicity will
draw the attention of lawyers to their duties to further the overriding objective ... and to the
possibility that, if they turn down out of hand the chance of alternative dispute resolution when
suggested by the court, as happened on this occasion, they may have to face uncomfortable costs
consequences". This is the first time that a successful party has been refused costs because they
declined to mediate.

14 Have the protocols been evaluated?

Yes.

To assess pre-action behaviour and the effect of the protocols, the Law Society and Civil Justice
Council jointly commissioned research by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the
University of Westminster. The final report was published on 25 April 2002 under the title “More
Civil Justice? The impact of the Woolf reforms on pre-action behaviour.”

    •   http://www.lawsoc.org.uk/dcs/pdf/civillit_finalsummary.pdf

Early findings based upon evidence obtained over the first two years were presented in the paper
“Emerging Findings” published in March 2001. “Further Findings: A continuing evaluation of
the Civil Justice Reforms” published in August 2002 builds on that evidence and includes some
additional information.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            24
http://www.dca.gov.uk/majrepfr.htm

15 If so, what was evaluated?

More Civil Justice?

The study was conducted during the period January to September 2001 and focused on the way
that representatives behave before they litigate and, in particular, the effect the reforms have had
on the settlement of civil cases and inter-party bargaining. It looked at three specific areas of
dispute: personal injury, clinical negligence and housing disrepair. Two of those areas (personal
injury and clinical negligence) had pre-action protocols in place while the third (housing) did not.

16 How was the evaluation conducted (what research tools/methods)?

More Civil Justice?

The research is mainly qualitative consisting of interview responses from lawyers, insurers and
claims managers of whom 30 specialised in personal injury, 12 in clinical negligence and 12 in
housing disrepair. On personal injury, the interviews were supplemented by quantitative analysis
of 158 claimant solicitor files of cases concluded before April 1999 (pre-CPR) and 152 files from
the same firms opened after April 1999 and concluded by the time of the study (post-CPR). The
study therefore focused on small, quickly resolved cases.

17 What were the results of the evaluation?

More Civil Justice?

The main findings are as follows (quoted):

    •   most practitioners regarded the Woolf reforms as a success

    •   the reforms provide a clearer structure, greater openness and make settlements easier to
        achieve

    •   users thought that both protocols establish clear ground rules on how to formulate and
        respond to claims, focus minds on the key issues at an early stage and encourage greater
        openness to smooth the way to settlement

    •   housing practitioners reported similar responses even though there was, as yet, no pre-
        action protocol in that area

    •   lawyers criticized what they perceived to be a lack of sanctions on those who failed to act
        reasonably in their pre-action negotiations. Personal injury claimant lawyers were
        particularly concerned about lack of sanctions when defendant lawyers failed to comply
        with the pre-action protocol

    •   there is some evidence that both damages and costs have risen in personal injury cases.

In all three areas the researchers found evidence of a dispute culture change (more open, better
relationships between lawyers and insurers) and better communication between opposing sides,
which had increased the number of claims settling without going to court.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            25
Further Findings: A continuing evaluation of the Civil Justice Reforms

“The results of the Legal Director benchmarker survey of 202 companies, published in July 2001,
found that the number of in-house lawyers who said mediation would be their preferred method
of resolving a dispute had doubled to 24% over the past 12 months. More than half (54%) of the
in-house lawyers said they expected their use of mediation to increase. This figure rose to 70%
among those who had used mediation before.”

The report intimates that the increased use of mediation can be attributed to the Woolf reforms
due to the Civil Procedure Rules having “raised the profile of ADR by putting a duty on
the courts to encourage the use of ADR in appropriate cases and to facilitate such use as
one element of case management.”

18 Do they encourage early exchange of information?

More Civil Justice?
One criticism of the old personal injury system was that it produced large numbers of wasted
letters, including demands for more information about the accident, repeated requests for
decisions on liability; and futile threats to issue proceedings. The personal injury file study
suggested that the overall number of pre-action contacts remained much the same. The median
standard fast track case now involves around 15 contacts: eight letters from the claimant to the
defendant, six letters from the defendant to the claimant, and a phone call to finalise settlement.
However, the authors found some evidence that the quality had improved.

The new system provoked fewer requests for more information about the accident and fewer
threats of litigation. Nevertheless, chasing letters (letters requesting further information, etc) have
not disappeared. They were present on half of all files. The protocol also provides a whole new
area for procedural disputes. Over one-quarter of post-Woolf cases contained allegations that the
other side had failed to comply with the protocol in some way. Given that the survey was
conducted at a time when the protocol was still in its infancy, the level of dispute might have
been greater.

Even with the lack of an agreed protocol, most respondents thought the Woolf reforms had
improved pre-action negotiations in housing disrepair cases. Many interviewees described how,
before 1999, “disrepair litigation was
characterised by neglect and delay. The parties could sleep-walk through the procedural steps
until just before trial, without focusing on the substantive issues. The fast-track timetable means
they can no longer do this. Cases need to be readied for issue and progress to trial. Some landlord
lawyers had responded by proposing their own protocols to tenant firms, promising to respond
within three or four months if the tenant agreed to postpone litigation.”

19 Do they encourage early settlement of disputes (prior to litigation)?

More Civil Justice?
Almost all the respondents in the study thought that more cases were now resolved without court
involvement. The effect was clearest in personal injury cases, where a couple of insurers
estimated the reduction at ‘around a third’. Clinical negligence cases are more difficult to resolve
and are therefore more likely to still involve the court. However, respondents thought that some
small, straightforward cases were more likely to be resolved before court proceedings started.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              26
Housing disrepair cases were also felt to be considerably more likely to settle without
proceedings being issued. This fall in issued cases is confirmed by court figures.

Respondents shared a strong perception that claims were now easier to settle. The authors of the
report found it “difficult to pin down exactly what they meant by this”. Even before the reforms,
very few cases went to trial. The “perception that settlement was ‘easier’ related to matters other
than the trial rate.” This was partly because more cases were settled before issue, and partly
because it was felt that settlement was more likely to be through discussion of the issues rather
than attrition. For example, “many housing lawyers felt that the parties now took a more
pragmatic approach to resolving matters, and tended to focus on the real issues earlier.”


20 User satisfaction with process and outcome.

More Civil Justice?
There were mixed views on the effectiveness of the letter of claim. On the positive side, they
clearly provide more detailed information than old style letters before action and there was a
strong sense that this opened up the potential to settle claims at an earlier stage. On the negative
side, doubts were cast over whether the letter of claim served much purpose in larger claims,
where the complexity of the issues and difficulties in quantifying the case at an early stage made
settlement far less likely.
Further Findings: A continuing evaluation of the Civil Justice Reforms

In the Law Society Woolf Network’s 3rd survey, published in February 2001, the reforms
received a very positive overall response: 80% of the respondents felt the reforms were an
improvement on the previous system with comments such as: "the reforms increased settlement
and the spirit of co-operation", "the reforms make the process quicker and less adversarial."

In the 4th survey, published in February 2002, respondents were asked about their overall
impressions of the reforms at this stage: 25% said that the reforms were working well and another
69% said they were working well with some reservations. Only 6% of respondents said that the
reforms were not working well. 84% of respondents thought that the new procedures were
quicker and 70% felt they were more efficient, but a large majority of 81% did not agree that the
new procedures were cheaper for their clients.
21 Saving of time?

More Civil Justice?
The findings in regards to the effect of pre-action protocols on duration of cases were not
conclusive. Several respondents reported that cases were now resolved more quickly. This was
especially true for housing lawyers. These assertions, however, cannot be taken at face value as
the authors found that solicitors routinely underestimated the time cases took.

The personal injury file study suggested that, once a medical report had been obtained, the
remaining stages of personal injury cases were concluded more quickly. The median time from
medical report to settlement had fallen from 170 days pre-Woolf to 123 days post-Woolf. This
was partly because first offers are made sooner and partly because it took less time after the first
offer to reach a settlement.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             27
The file study, however, suggests that the early stages of a case have become slower. It now takes
longer for claimant lawyers to make their first contact with defendants and to instruct a medical
expert because of “front-loading” in which more work is carried out in the early stages of a case.
Claimant lawyers said they were now more likely to interview their client before writing the first
letter to the defendant, and that such interviews tended to be longer. Whereas before the reforms,
half of all first letters were sent within a week or two; now half of the letters took over a month to
send, with around one in five taking over three months. In general, however, neither insurers nor
claimant solicitors were too concerned about these delays.

The file survey was only able to gather data on small, quickly resolved cases. Within this sector,
the two changes largely cancelled each other out, with mean and median times remaining much
the same. The minimum time for concluding a case has become longer: very few settlements were
now secured in less than six months.


22 Saving of money?

More Civil Justice?

Although the paper does not provide conclusive evidence on this issue, it finds that initial
indications do not suggest that case costs have decreased. Each potential saving in the reform is
offset by other changes that require more work, or bring forward work to an early stage, so that it
is required in a greater proportion of cases.

For clinical negligence and housing disrepair case, the data was limited to respondents’
perceptions. In personal injury, the authors collected some quantitative data on small, quickly
resolved cases.

Insurers were united in the view that the average cost of dealing with a personal injury claim had
increased markedly. It is clear that the introduction of pre-action protocols has resulted in the
front-loading of costs before proceedings are issued. Figures provided by an insurance company
specialising in motor claims showed that in the three years prior to the introduction of the reforms
costs had increased in line with inflation with costs claimed rising at around 4% pa and costs paid
at around 3%. From 1999 to 2001, however, claimed costs had risen by an average of 15% pa
while costs paid had increased by around 12%; substantially more than inflation.

In housing disrepair claims, views were more positive. Tenant lawyers reported that the cost of
disrepair claims had dropped — a view supported by landlord representatives. Some landlord
lawyers, however, pointed out that although earlier settlements led to some cost savings for them,
these were often counteracted by front-loading. The same work needed to be done; it just needed
to be done earlier in the proceedings.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             28
Jurisdiction:             New Zealand
Program Name:             Family Court Mediation

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1    Jurisdiction Information:

Ministry of Justice
PO Box 180
Level 3, Vogel Building
Aitken Street
Wellington, NZ

+64 4 918-8800 Telephone
+64 4 918-8820 Fax

Senior Analyst (Department of Courts):
Lee Mackenzie +64 4 918-8817

Website address: http://www.courts.govt.nz/family/

2    Court Name:

Family Court of New Zealand; a division of the District Court. It has comprehensive jurisdiction
over family matters.

3    Broad Description of the DR Program:

If there are still matters in dispute after counseling, either party can or both parties can ask for a
mediation conference. A Judge may also direct that a mediation conference be held.

There is no limit on the number of conferences the parties can ask for. However, the Judge can
direct that the case go to a Family Court hearing if no agreement seems likely from the mediation
conferences.

The mediation conference is an opportunity for both parties to discuss disputed issues with a
Family Court Judge and to try to reach agreement. Mediation in the Family Court in New Zealand
is unique in that it is “Judge chaired.” The Judge can make orders on any matters that both parties
agree upon, including separation, custody of children, access, child support and the sharing of
property. Orders made in this way are called “consent orders”.

Both parties are required to be at the mediation, with their lawyers to advise and assist them if
they wish. If the Court has appointed a lawyer to represent the children, that lawyer may also
attend. However, lawyers are encouraged to ‘take a back seat’ at the conference, to allow the
parties themselves to work on coming to a mutually satisfactory agreement.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              29
Statements made at the conference are privileged and cannot be used in evidence at a Court
hearing. In some circumstances, the Judge who chairs the conference may disqualify him/herself
from hearing the case at a later Court hearing.


4   Types of DR services included in the program (mediation, facilitation, arbitration,
    neutral evaluation etc.)

Generally, a mediation conference is allocated one-to-two hours of time, although longer
conferences may be held if the judge decides that the parties are close to reaching an agreement.

In most models of mediation, the mediator is seen as a disinterested facilitator. Some judges and
lawyers see the mediation conference as an opportunity to reality test the client’s view of the
case.

The only persons who can be present at a mediation conference as of right are the parties, their
respective lawyers and counsel for the child if appointed. Some judges, with the permission of the
parties, have permitted others to attend.


5   Any issue restrictions?

A mediation conference is only available where there is an application for a separation order or a
maintenance order or one parent has applied against the other parent for an order for custody or
access. Mediation is not available for other proceedings in the Family Court including those
involving matrimonial property.

6   Date instituted

The Family Court was established in New Zealand by the Family Courts Act 1980 and began
operation on 1 October 1981.

7   Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
    Directions, Policy, Procedure)

The Family Court was set up to deal with proceedings under the Family Proceedings Act 1980,
the Guardianship Act 1968 and the Matrimonial Property Act 1976 (that is, mainly disputes
between separating couples about marriage dissolution, spousal and child maintenance,
guardianship, custody and access).

All matters coming to the Family Court under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 and the
Guardianship Act 1968 are governed by the procedures set out in the Family Proceedings Act and
the Family Proceedings Rules. These provided for counseling and the judge-led mediation
conference.

The Family Courts Rules came into force on 21 October 2002. The objective for the new Rules
was to create a single set of rules to govern practice and procedure in the Family Courts. This
involved bringing together in one document without modification the Adoption Regulations 1959,
the Family Proceedings Rules 1981, the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Rules 1988,
the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Rules 1989, the Child Support Rules 1992, the

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            30
Domestic Violence Rules 1996, and the Property (Relationships) Rules 2001. It also involved
incorporating relevant provisions of the District Courts Rules 1992.

        •     http://www.justice.govt.nz/family/


8    Who administers the program?

The Courts.

9    Who provides the service(s) – private / public sector

By Court judges.

10 Are the services mandatory or voluntary or both?
If there are still matters in dispute after counseling, the parties can ask for a mediation conference.
A Judge may also direct that a mandatory mediation conference be held.
11 If mandatory, are there any exceptions to the dispute resolution requirements?
Often, in difficult access cases, the parties have been before the Court on several occasions some
involving hearings and others for mediation. Usually they represent the high conflict situation and
a total inability to negotiate or a desire on the part of one or the other parent to continue the
conflict and are therefore not subject to mediation.
Other types of cases excluded from mediation could include those involving safety for one parent;
a lack of acknowledgement by one parent against whom violence is either alleged or established;
a parent suffering from severe psychological and/or emotional problems and those cases where
the exertion of power and control by one parent over another becomes apparent.

12 Is there a screening process?

Screening is done at the counseling stage.

13 Who selects the neutral (the program or the parties)

The Court.

14 What are the required qualifications for the neutral, if any?

The role of a Family Court judge differs from that of a judge in the general jurisdiction of the
District Court. Current family legislation contains inquisitorial aspects (quoted):

    •   The judge may receive such evidence as he or she sees fit, regardless of whether it would
        be otherwise admissible in a court of law.
    •   The Family Court judge may call for reports from the Director-General of Social
        Welfare, doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists in respect of the child or person.
    •   The Court may call witnesses on its own behalf rather than just relying on the witnesses
        that the parties call.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004               31
     •   Family Court Dispute Resolution, Preliminary Paper 47
     •   Law Commission
     •   http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/

Judges may not be appointed to the Family Court unless they are, by reason of training,
experience and personality, a suitable person to deal with matters of family law (Family Courts
Act 1980, Section 5).

Some judges may have experience as mediators, but generally, mediation is a skill that judges are
expected to develop upon appointment, with the assistance of training sessions by skilled
mediators.

Recently, there has been an initiative to improve judicial mediation skills. The Institute for
Judicial Studies initiated a programme to train four Family Court judges in mediation skills. The
training programme taught a number of models of mediation and specific mediation skills such as
communication and reframing. As a result of attending the programme, the four judges have been
accredited to teach mediation skills to other Family Court judges.


15 How is the program advertised / promoted

The Family Court provides some basic information about the Court and its processes through a
series of pamphlets. The pamphlets give a brief explanation of the services that the Family Court
offers and emphasize that parties should make use of the counseling services available through
the Court.

The pamphlets are available in printed form from courts, citizens advice bureaus and other
community agencies, and in electronic form from the Department for Courts website.

Where a client is seeking information about the dissolution of marriage, separation, spousal
maintenance or paternity, guardianship, custody or access, a lawyer must inform the client of
facilities that exist for promoting reconciliation and conciliation. Lawyers have a duty to promote
reconciliation, or, if that is not possible, conciliation (Domestic Violence Rules 1996, rule 26).

16 How do users access the program (referrals? From whom?)

They may request a mediation conference or the Court may direct that a conference be
held.

17 How is the program funded?

Government/Court funded.

18 Are users charged fees? If so, how much?

No




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            32
19 Are there income level restrictions?

No.

20 Location of the service(s): Court or community

The conference is held at the Family Court, but the atmosphere is more relaxed and informal than
at a Court hearing. Some larger courts have special mediation conference rooms.

21 Does the program require some form of DR or Pre-Action Protocol before commencing
       action? Yes/No (if Yes, include details for Issue 1b or Issue 2)

No.

22 Does the program offer the services to parties in ongoing litigation?

Yes. The mediation service, as described above, is provided during the litigation process.

23 How does the program deal with access issues:

23.1    Language
23.2    Culture
23.3    Remote Location
23.4    Etc.

          See the information provided in this section for the Conciliation Services
          program.

24 Has the program been evaluated?

Yes. There are two relevant evaluation reports. We will provide them upon receipt:
              o   Family Court Dispute Resolution, Preliminary Paper 47
                      • “Paper 47”
                      • January 2002
                      • Law Commission
                  http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/
              o   The Law Commission produced Report 82 – “Dispute Resolution in the Family
                  Court” as a follow-up to Paper 47 and presented it to the Government in March
                  2003.
                      • “Report 82”
                      • http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/Documents/Publications/NZLC%20R82%2
                          0Fam.pdf


25 If so, what were the issues and how was the evaluation conducted (what
   research tools or methods were used)?


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            33
26 What were the results, including:

26.1   Rates of agreement or settlement
26.2   User satisfaction with process and outcome
26.3   Saving of time
26.4   Saving of money

27 What were the conclusions or outcomes? (detail the key findings in point form)

Paper 47

Expanding Family Court Mediation

A mediation conference is only available under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 where one of
the parties has applied for a separation order or a maintenance order, or one parent has applied
against the other parent for an order for custody or access. Mediation conferences are not
available for other proceedings in the Family Court including those involving matrimonial
property.

“Judges have received mediation training but their skills are variable. In most models of
mediation, the mediator is seen as a disinterested facilitator. It is, therefore, a difficult role for a
judge to assume, as the parties have expectations of the judge as an ultimate decision-maker and
an authority figure. The parties are likely to view comments by the judge as indicative of a
judicial view of the likely determination of the dispute.”

Recommendation:

“We are attracted to the notion of expanding the Family Court conciliation services and we
suggest trained mediators could provide a mediation service … We envisage that it would rarely
be offered as the first intervention but may well be appropriate after initial information and/or
counseling referrals.”

“Mediation could be extended to other proceedings, such as [the disbursement of matrimonial
property], dispensing with parental consent in adoption or the appointment of a welfare
guardian.”

“We do not consider that the conference, as currently held with judges, should be done away
with, but we do consider that they may be more aptly named as “settlement conferences”.”

“The judge-led conferences perform a valuable function. They provide an opportunity to define
and limit the issues, reality test the positions of the parties, order priorities and, in a number of
cases, conclude the dispute by consent orders. Such conferences should be available for all
Family Court proceedings.”

“If there were to be an earlier mediation process available, then we would expect that the number
of judge-led conferences would be fewer, because more matters would settle at an earlier point in
time.”




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004               34
Report 82

The Law Commission reports that there are major concerns in regards to the effectiveness of
judge chaired mediation. The
Organization called Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LEADR) comments:

“Parties tend to defer to a judge/mediator. This may be because of the office that the judge holds,
or because of a sense that the judge “knows best”, or even because they think it wise to keep
“onside” with the judge. Lawyers in the Family Court have experienced all these reactions. They
can deprive a party of negotiating capacity and ultimately skew the outcome. They are less likely
to occur if the mediator is not a judge.”

The Law Commission recommends that Court mediation be expanded to cover a greater range of
issues and that the Family Court contract mediators as part of the mediation service:

“We believe mediation should be available to everyone who would otherwise have their dispute
settled in the Family Court. This includes guardianship/custody and access issues, relationship
property disputes, and family protection and testamentary promises claims. Parties involved in
other proceedings, such as adoption, or appointment of a welfare guardian under the Protection of
Personal and Property Rights Act 1988, could also use mediation. We do not think mediation
useful in mental health matters.”

Therapeutic Mediation

The Law Commission, though not in favour of prescribing a specific mediation model, suggests
that therapeutic mediation would be useful in resolving difficult family disputes. This type of
mediation is also referred to in the report as facilitative or interventionist (see Appendix A for
details).

Mediation would consist of a four-step process:

    •   Assessment: carried out by the conciliation service coordinator or a counselor.
    •   Education: parents would be provided with information about the divorce process and
        children’s needs, as well receiving some training in communication and problem solving
        skills.
    •   Facilitating negotiation: a Family Court mediator would assist the parties in coming to
        mutually satisfying agreement.
    •   Ongoing support and troubleshooting: the Family Court mediator can play an ongoing
        role in supporting the family while they implement their agreement.

The Law Commission recommends that the mediation conference currently held by judges should
be renamed a settlement conference and should be utilized to define and limit issues, reality test
each party’s position, prioritize, and conclude disputes by consent order. Settlement conferences
should be available but not mandatory in all family law proceedings.

Government Response

The Government has directed officials to develop a pilot for non-judge led mediation in 2004,
with the pilot running for 2004/5 and 2006/7. Funding for the mediation pilot will be sought in
the 2004 Budget round.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              35
Mediator Qualifications

*The Massey University/AMINZ-accredited course and affiliation to a professional organization
would provide the appropriate level of training.

As well as core mediation skills and professional affiliation, Family Court mediators would need
specific Family Court training covering the following topics (quoted):

    •   family systems theories and child development;
    •   gender awareness;
    •   domestic violence and power imbalances, and how to deal with unequal bargaining
        positions;
    •   how to deal with highly emotional clients;
    •   the challenges of dealing with unrepresented clients;
    •   disability awareness;
    •   knowledge of tikanga Mäori;
    •   knowledge of other cultures and cultural practices;
    •   knowledge of community-based organizations and support groups offering families help;
    •   basic knowledge of law applying to Family Court disputes;
    •   case management and Family Court processes.

The Law Commission recommends that a Family Court committee design this course, drawing
upon judges, counselors, social workers, psychologists and lawyers.

“Should the Government water down our recommendation and permit lesser-qualified people to
provide mediation services, we would oppose mediation as a form of Family Court dispute
resolution.”

Timing of Mediation

“Mediation should be something that the conciliation service coordinator offers clients. In many
cases it would be best for parties to attend an information session or counseling before attempting
mediation, but some cases might be suitable for mediation without prior counseling. The
conciliation service co-ordinator, in consultation with a mediator, should decide whether a case is
suitable for mediation or whether it should be deferred until after counseling.”

“Some cases might involve issues needing urgent resolution by a judge. Once these are resolved,
however, outstanding issues might be resolved by mediation. There should be enough flexibility
for a judge to be able to refer parties back to mediation.”

Contracted Versus Employed Mediators

The Law Commissions preference is for contracting mediators working in the community,
because (quoted):

    •   mediation encourages people to solve problems without resorting to the Family Court and
        expecting another person or system to solve their problems for them;
    •   it would give a range of people better access to mediation;


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            36
    •   Court-based facilities are under pressure, and it is unlikely the Government would want
        to construct new facilities around the country; even should there be appropriate Court
        facilities, Court-located mediation might inhibit some clients;
    •   community facilities are likely to be more user-friendly than court-based facilities; there
        should, ideally, be comfortable rooms, whiteboards and flipcharts, tea and coffee
        facilities, and office and communications equipment so agreements can be processed and
        copied for parties to take away to consider, and discuss with their lawyer;
    •   community-based mediators would be flexible about the timing of mediation
        appointments; if mediation is progressing well, parties might want to continue outside
        nine-to-five office hours.

**The LEADR sees the contracting of mediation services as having the following advantages
(quoted):

    •   Greater flexibility and choice allowing for a more diverse and changing “panel” of
        contractor mediators.
    •   Diversity in the composition of the panel is attractive. Mediators need to be able to
        “translate” for the parties to enable them to hear each other. This requires an empathy
        with the class, culture and gender of the parties.
    •   The diversity of the “panel” of contractor mediators would allow more sophisticated
        matching of disputes and mediators.
    •   Mediators of a high standard could be contracted on an ad hoc basis. Qualifications,
        experience and accreditation/professional organization would be required.
    •   A higher standard of service would be achievable as:

  (a) the maintenance of professional standards would be overseen by the professional body
  which the mediator is affiliated (to); and
  (b) contractors would have private professional reputations to maintain.

    •   Contractor mediators would not become “institutionalized” and would be less likely to be
        perceived as “institutionalized” by the parties.
    •   Private mediators would be less likely to be concerned by “success” rates statistics than
        with durable outcomes.

The Law Commission agrees with these points and advances a further argument in favour of
contracted mediators: the possible burn-out of those conducting many family mediations. The
Commission refers to Court-appointed psychologists suffering burn-out and assumes mediators
would be similarly vulnerable. The risk, it writes, “would be exacerbated by the increased
exposure to Family Court work arising from permanent employment as Family Court mediators.”

Participation

“We recommend extending the categories of those entitled to participate in mediation beyond the
immediate parties to the proceeding. In order to acknowledge the growing number of blended
families and the different patterns of family life of Mäori and other cultures, all “main players”
may need to be represented at mediation to make solutions viable.”

“Some situations might involve step-parents or new partners. It might sometimes be beneficial to
bring in a professional such as a doctor or a therapist who has been involved with the family,
provided privilege and confidentiality issues can be resolved. There should be enough discretion

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            37
for participation to be decided case by case, following consultation with the parties, and where
appropriate, the children.”

Children

The preliminary paper asked whether children should be involved in mediation. Many
submissions supported such an idea as a way of protecting children’s rights, though some listed
drawbacks such as having the child put into a position of having to “choose” a parent.

“A properly conducted mediation, where a child has the opportunity to tell his or her parents how
he or she feels about what is happening, would focus on children’s views and interests, and could
help clarify matters for disputing parents.”

“Having considered the arguments for and against child participation, we favour enough
flexibility to allow participation to be decided case by case. In some circumstances, it might be
appropriate for children to attend part of a mediation, but we do not envisage children being
present as a matter of course. The mediator should meet with the child or young person, or
consult them through a counselor or counsel for the child, to find out whether they wish to
participate in mediation and whether this is desirable.”

Another option highlighted by the Law Commission is to have children prepare a statement of
their feelings and wishes, and have those conveyed to the parents during mediation.

* The Massey University Dispute Resolution Centre offers comprehensive one- and two-year,
graduate- and postgraduate-level courses. Students can take courses
extramurally, but must attend an eight-day residential practicum, and five-day block courses
where they develop practical mediation skills. These are Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of
New Zealand Inc affiliated programmes (AMINZ). AMINZ is a “not-for-profit membership
organization dedicated to promoting high quality, fair and efficient dispute resolution services by
its members to the public” (http://www.aminz.org.nz/).

** LEADR is an Australasian, “not-for-profit membership organization formed in 1989 to serve
the community by promoting and facilitating the use of consensual dispute resolution processes”
(http://www.leadr.com.au/about.html).

28 Levels of Usage

Family Court judges held approximately 3000 mediation conferences in 2000.

29 Other special features.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            38
                                  Appendix A
                   Suggested Mediation Model for Difficult Cases

Excerpted from:
Report 82 – “Dispute Resolution in the Family Court” March 2003.
http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/Documents/Publications/NZLC%20R82%20Fam.pdf

Therapeutic mediation

363 The therapeutic mediator helps participants understand the
mediation process, and facilitates co-operative arrangements known
to work well for families.1 The mediator might also offer ongoing
support as the family adjusts to its new circumstances. This model
lends itself particularly to negotiating parenting plans; it helps
families draw up new arrangements that ensure both parents take
an active and constructive part in their children’s lives. Therapeutic
mediation is pragmatic: the mediator focuses parents on the
practical implications of their plans.

364 Therapeutic mediation usually works through the following phases:
assessment; education; advocacy; facilitation of communication;
and ongoing support.2

Assessment

365 The assessment process (which we envisage being initially carried
out by the conciliation service co-ordinator or counselor)
determines whether parties are ready for mediation and whether
there are any contra-indications. It should take the following factors
into account:

• the extent to which parties have accepted the end of the
relationship; the degree to which they can separate past
relationship issues from current and future parenting issues; and
their willingness to co-operate;
• their current relationship; the level of hostility; whether there
is or has been domestic violence; whether there are power and
control issues; and, whether one party might use mediation to
manipulate the other or stall the process;
• the relationship between child and parents, and whether there
has been abuse;
• what parents expect and want in their relationships with their
children.


1
 Also known as a facilitative or interventionist mediator.
2
 Guidelines as expressed by E Kruk “Promoting Co-operative Parenting After
Separation: A Therapeutic/interventionist Model of Family Mediation” (1993)
15 Journal of Family Therapy 235, 243.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              39
Education

366 To be able to mediate, parents need information about the divorce
process and children’s needs, and communication and problemsolving
skills. It should be made clear to them that shared parenting
agreements must answer the child’s, not the parents’ needs. Helping
parents discover what these needs are can focus them on
arrangements that will suit their children.

367 Information sessions demonstrating communication and problemsolving
skills help prepare parents for mediation, as well as
equipping them to negotiate inevitable changes in their parenting
lives. Chapters 5 and 6 recommend such information be offered to
all separating parents.

Facilitating negotiation

368 The core function most people associate with mediation is
facilitating negotiations towards an agreement, whether it relates
to a parenting plan, living arrangements, roles, responsibilities and
activities, property issues, or how a relative who is older or infirm
might be cared for.

Ongoing support and troubleshooting

369 Once a plan has been implemented, the mediator can help resolve
any practical problems that might arise, in the hope of avoiding
repeated litigation over apparently minor issues.3

Key players

370 We suggest the conciliation services co-ordinator carry out the
information function during an intake interview, which is discussed
in chapter 2.

371 The second and third functions could be covered by a parenting
information programme, and materials such as booklets, videos and
website information.

372 Facilitating negotiation and ongoing support could be carried out
in the context of mediation. Another option would be to have the
conciliation services co-ordinator, counselor or psychologist offer
follow-up assistance to parties having difficulties with parenting
plans negotiated during mediation.

3
  In a model of mediation known as impasse-directed mediation, the mediator
will often play an ongoing role in supporting the family while they implement
their agreement. See L Campbell and J Johnston “Multifamily Mediation:
The Use of Groups to Resolve Child Custody Disputes” (1986–87) 14/15
Mediation Quarterly 137.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004               40
Jurisdiction:             New Zealand
Program Name:             Family Court Conciliation Services

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1    Jurisdiction Information:

Ministry of Justice
PO Box 180
Level 3, Vogel Building
Aitken Street
Wellington, NZ

+64 4 918-8800 Telephone
+64 4 918-8820 Fax

Senior Analyst (Department of Courts):
Lee Mackenzie +64 4 918-8817

Website: http://www.courts.govt.nz/family/

2    Court Name:

Family Court of New Zealand; a division of the District Court. It has comprehensive jurisdiction
over family matters.

3    Broad Description of the DR Program:

Married and de facto couples (common law) may approach the Court and make a request for
counseling. This request can be made while they are living together, while they are in the process
of separating, or after they have separated.

Counseling can be requested before the parties have filed proceedings or at any stage during
proceedings. Where parties apply for a custody or maintenance order, the Court may also direct
that they attend mandatory counseling (unless there are genuine reasons to by-pass counseling,
such as urgency, or because parties have already had counseling).

The Family Proceedings Act 1980 emphasizes reconciliation as a primary objective. Counseling
sessions are expected to result in spouses either reconciling or resolving their dispute.

The Family Court contracts out conciliation services to organizations and individual private
practitioners.

If there are still matters in dispute after counseling, parties can ask for a mediation conference. A
Judge may also direct that a mediation conference be held.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             41
4    Types of DR services included in the program (mediation, facilitation, arbitration,
     neutral evaluation etc.)

Family Court counseling is carried out under the Family Proceedings Act 1980. It (quoted):

    •   focuses on reconciliation/conciliation issues between the parties;
    •   is time-limited and has clear boundaries;
    •   focuses on solutions;
    •   involves problem-solving;
    •   is facilitative;
    •   is impartial;
    •   requires awareness of needs of others – such as children and other family/whanau (Mauri
        family/tribal grouping) members.

    •   Family Court Dispute Resolution, Preliminary Paper 47
    •   Law Commission
    •   http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/

Conciliation encourages each party to understand the other’s point of view, and to co-operate in
finding a resolution that satisfies both parties.

Some counseling providers, including *Relationship Services, consider that the “conciliation
counseling they offer to some couples is, in fact, a form of mediation if the couple is at the stage
where resolution of the issues arising out of the relationship is a viable process. Exactly what is
offered to the client will depend on the training of the counselor and the counselor’s assessment
of the best “process” for this couple” (Family Court Dispute Resolution, Preliminary Paper 47).

The service is available for people who are having difficulties in their relationship and may be
accessed before legal action has commenced. To arrange counseling, a party may call the local
Family Court and fill in a request form, or have his or her lawyer ask for counseling on their
behalf.

The counseling process is confidential and must be treated as privileged, except for cases
involving child abuse or other risk to a child where the counselor may notify the Child, Youth and
Family Service in accordance with section 15 of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families
Act 1989. The counselor will also advise the Court that such a notification has been made.

When the counseling sessions have been completed (ideally within eight weeks of the initial
referral), the counselor will prepare a report for the Court that will state that the parties have
attended the requisite counseling, state whether they intend to remain in a relationship or separate,
and outline any agreements reached during counseling. The report does not give any detail about
the issues between the parties. Copies of the report are given to both parties.

Under s19 of the Family Proceedings Act, the Judge may direct that certain people other than the
parties attend counseling. There is no provision in the Act for children to attend counseling – the
Judge must make a specific direction for them to attend.

Generally, children are not involved in Court counseling or in mediation conferences except
through representation by counsel for the child. A lawyer may be appointed to represent a


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             42
child/children. That can occur under section 30 of the Guardianship Act 1968 if the Judge decides
that the adult parties’ focus needs to be directed towards the interests of the child/children.

Parties are provided with six hours of free counseling to achieve conciliation or reconciliation. If
at the end of the six hours free counseling further counseling is needed, the counselor can apply to
the Court to extend the number of sessions available. If counseling is not helping matters or if it is
clear that one or both parties cannot or absolutely will not participate in the counseling process,
the counselor can terminate the counseling referral and send the clients back to the Family Court.

Relationship Services is the biggest single Family Court counseling provider, although
individual counselors are contracted separately. Most Relationship Services counselors
have a degree in, for instance, psychology, and two years practical experience before
coming to Family Court work. Once they join Relationship Services, they take a course
that familiarizes them with Family Court work.

5     Any issue restrictions?

No.

6     Date instituted

The Family Court was established in New Zealand by the Family Courts Act 1980 and began
operation on 1 October 1981.

7     Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
      Directions, Policy, Procedure)

The Family Court was set up to deal with proceedings under the Family Proceedings Act 1980,
the Guardianship Act 1968 and the Matrimonial Property Act 1976 (that is, mainly disputes
between separating couples about marriage dissolution, spousal and child maintenance,
guardianship, custody and access).

All matters coming to the Family Court under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 and the
Guardianship Act 1968 are governed by the procedures set out in the Family Proceedings Act and
the Family Proceedings Rules. These provided for counseling and the judge-led mediation
conference.

The Family Courts Rules came into force on 21 October 2002. The objective for the new Rules
was to create a single set of rules to govern practice and procedure in the Family Courts. This
involved bringing together in one document without modification the Adoption Regulations 1959,
the Family Proceedings Rules 1981, the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Rules 1988,
the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Rules 1989, the Child Support Rules 1992, the
Domestic Violence Rules 1996, and the Property (Relationships) Rules 2001. It also involved
incorporating relevant provisions of the District Courts Rules 1992.

http://www.justice.govt.nz/family/

8     Who administers the program?



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             43
The Family Court of New Zealand and, more specifically, the Family Court Co-ordinator
attached to the larger Courts.

Section 8 of the Family Courts Act 1980 provides that a Court officer must carry out duties to
facilitate the proper operation of the Family Courts and of counseling and related services. The
Family Court co-ordinators carry out this role. As employees of the Department for Courts their
duties include making referrals and directing the public to the proper agencies. They have contact
with every case involving counseling that goes through the Family Court.

Co-ordinators in most Courts are obliged to offer crisis counseling to people approaching the
Family Court counter. But not all coordinators have time to give clients information, counsel
them, and discuss possible referrals, as many Courts do not provide their coordinators with
administrative or clerical support.

The role does vary between courts, and “anecdotal evidence suggests that it is often broader than
that of arranging counseling and other specialist services” (Family Court Custody and Access
Research; Report 82:
Discussion Paper, Ministry of Justice, Wellington, 1994).

In the Wellington Development Court, these officers are now called “Family Specialist Services
Co-ordinators”. The key responsibilities of the Family Specialist Services Co-ordinators are to
(quoted):

    •   co-ordinate specialist service providers;
    •   manage cases;
    •   manage relationships;
    •   assess clients and cases;
    •   select appropriate actions;
    •   provide Family Court education;
    •   administer documents and files; and
    •   maintain knowledge capital.

The qualification required for a Family Court Co-ordinator is a secondary school study to sixth
form certificate level (college as opposed to a university degree), or relevant work experience. A
relevant tertiary qualification is desirable (i.e. social work degree).

9    Who provides the service(s) – private / public sector

Family Court counseling is provided by private practitioners.

10 Are the services mandatory or voluntary or both?

A Judge may refer parties to a counselor if there is an application for custody or access. If either
party chooses not to go, the Judge may issue a summons ordering them to attend the counseling
session/s.

11 If mandatory, are there any exceptions to the dispute resolution requirements?




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             44
The Family Court Judge may order that the matter not be referred to counseling on the application
of the Registrar or of either party to the marriage, if (quoted):

    •   The respondent has used violence (within the meaning of section 3 (2) of the Domestic
        Violence Act 1995) against the applicant or a child of the marriage; or
    •   delay in hearing the application for a separation order would be undesirable or unlikely to
        serve a useful purpose; or
    •   a reasonable cause exists to dispense with a reference to counseling (Family Court
        Dispute Resolution, Preliminary Paper 47).


12 Is there a screening process?

If a party has experienced violence in the relationship, including psychological abuse, the parties
are encouraged to contact a counselor or Family Court Coordinator (original known as the
Counseling Co-ordinator). In such cases, special arrangements can be made for separate
counseling sessions.

The Court offers separating couples at least one individual counseling session first. This initial
meeting gives the counselor the chance to query about violence in the relationship and provides
an opportunity for each party to tell their story. The parties can then choose whether to commence
joint counseling.

Where it has been proved that there has been domestic violence, within the meaning of the
Domestic Violence Act 1995, the parties cannot be required to attend joint counseling.

The Court may authorize co-counseling for the parties on custody, access and guardianship
issues. Each party will see a separate counselor, usually with specific skills in both violence and
children’s issues. Matters will be dealt with by the counselors exchanging information and
reporting back to the parties. Co-counseling is organized by the Family Court
co-ordinator and is not be available in all areas.

During counseling, in the case of suspected or disclosed child abuse, counselors are supposed to
close the referral and make notifications to the Department of Child Youth and Family Services
under s.15 of the Children Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989. The counselor must
provide a written report to the Court on his or her actions in respect of the protocol.


13 Who selects the neutral (the program or the parties)

In each Court, there will be a list of counselors who are available to accept counseling referrals
from the Court.
In allocating a referral to a counselor, the Court (Family Court Coordinator) will consider the
following factors:

    •   the match of knowledge, skills and experience to case requirements;

    •   the availability of the counselor; and

    •   the current workload of the counselor.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             45
14 What are the required qualifications for the neutral, if any?

Counselor must be accredited member of a professional organization. Persons wishing to provide
court-affiliated counseling services must show that they have competency in a range of matters
such as (quoted):

    •   counseling skills;
    •   human and child development and family systems theory;
    •   knowledge about the dynamics of relationship break-ups and family separation;
    •   understanding of grief and loss;
    •   knowledge about the dynamics of family violence and the impact of it on children and
        adults;
    •   knowledge about the dynamics of child abuse;
    •   awareness of gender issues;
    •   crisis intervention skills;
    •   awareness of substance misuse and/or abuse;
    •   awareness of the types of local community resources that are available;
    •   knowledge of family law and how the Family Court operates; and
    •   general cultural and social awareness (Family Court Dispute Resolution, Preliminary
        Paper 47).

As part of being on the list, counselors will be expected to join their local Family Courts
Association. Counselors are also encouraged to attend provider or special interest group meetings
run by local Family Court Co-ordinators.

15 How is the program advertised / promoted

The Family Court provides some basic information about the Court and its processes through a
series of pamphlets. The pamphlets give a brief explanation of the services that the Family Court
offers and emphasize that parties should make use of the counseling services available through
the Court.

The pamphlets are available in printed form from courts, citizens advice bureaus and other
community agencies, and in electronic form from the Department for Courts website.

Where a client is seeking information about the dissolution of marriage, separation, spousal
maintenance or paternity, guardianship, custody or access, a lawyer must inform the client of
facilities that exist for promoting reconciliation and conciliation. Lawyers have a duty to promote
reconciliation, or, if that is not possible, conciliation (Domestic Violence Rules 1996, rule 26).


16 How do users access the program (referrals? From whom?)

Family Court counselors receive referrals for counseling under s. 9, s. 10, and s. 19 of the Family
Proceedings Act:




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            46
      •   Under s. 9, either party in a relationship may request the Registrar to arrange counseling.
          This counseling must involve both parties to the relationship.

      •   Section 10(4) is used to require most custody and access applications to be referred to
          counseling.

Referrals under s. 19 are made by a Judge during the course of proceedings for separation,
custody, access, or maintenance. Section 19 requires the Court to take steps to promote
reconciliation or conciliation, and it allows the Judge to adjourn proceedings in order to do this.
These referrals will always be made at a Judge’s specific direction and the reasons for the referral
specified.

17 How is the program funded?

Government/Court funded.

18 Are users charged fees? If so, how much?

Parties are offered six hours of free counseling in an attempt to achieve conciliation or
reconciliation. If, at the end of the six hours of prescribed free counseling, it appears that further
counseling is desirable, the counselor can apply to the Court to extend the number of sessions
available.

19 Are there income level restrictions?

No.

20 Location of the service(s): Court or community

The counseling sessions may take place at the offices of the counselor or at the home of one or
both parties. Counselors are reasonably flexible in scheduling appointment times and will
convene sessions in the evenings or during the weekend to suit their clients’ requirements.


21 Does the program require some form of DR or Pre-Action Protocol before commencing
      action? Yes/No (if Yes, include details for Issue 1b or Issue 2)

No.

22 Does the program offer the services to parties in ongoing litigation?

Yes. Parties may opt for counseling at any stage of the legal proceedings.

23 How does the program deal with access issues:

23.1 Language:
At present, most pamphlets about the Family Court are available in English and Maori.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              47
Some recent immigrants to New Zealand have language difficulties and find the Family Court
system bewildering. Pacific and Asian immigrants often have even greater difficulties with
language and cultural difference.

There are 115 117 Samoans, 51 486 Cook Island Mäori, and 40 716 Tongans resident in New
Zealand. In the most recent census, some 100 680 Asian people identify as Chinese, and 60 213
as Indians. Some of these will be fourth and fifth generation New Zealanders, but some may be
recent immigrants who experience language and cultural difficulties in the Court system.

In July 2002 the Law Commission held two community forums with Auckland Pacific Island
community representatives. Relevant concerns expressed at those meetings include (quoted):

    •   a need for better information in an accessible form;
    •   availability of information in community venues that targeted groups are likely to visit;
    •   availability of information in different languages;
    •   avoidance of Court jargon and provision of explanations of terminology where possible;
    •   directions to sources of further information and answers to questions;
    •   the need for Court processes to accommodate various family styles by, for instance,
        allowing children and elders to be present where appropriate;
    •   the need for available independent interpreters who understand the Court system;
    •   the need for the Court to take account of cultural values so that, for instance, cultural
        concepts like shame are understood, and decision makers appreciate how it can affect
        Court process and outcomes (Family Court Custody and Access Research; Report 82:
        Discussion Paper)

The Department for Courts is currently undertaking work to provide information sheets
about Family Court services in other languages. These information sheets will be posted
on the Department’s intranet, where court staff will be able to access and print off the
relevant sheet to accompany English language pamphlets.

23.2 Culture:
The Family Court imposes processes at the conciliation stage and the Court resolution stage that
do not necessarily accord with Mäori concepts of whänau (family), tikanga (customs), or kawa
(protocols).

The Law Commission makes a number of recommendations to promote Maori participation in the
Family Court. These include:

•   contracting qualified Maori conciliation service providers;
•   assessing the training needs for Maori psychologists and counselors;
•   introducing standardised introductory procedures that comply with tikanga Maori in the
    Family Court;
•   providing training in Maori pronunciation and cultural awareness to everyone working in the
    Family Court; and
•   amending legislation to allow whanau to attend Family Court hearings at the judge’s
    discretion.

The Department for Courts has developed a Te Reo Policy to substantially improve the quality
and extent of the use of Te Reo Maori (Maori language) within the Department by 2005. A


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004           48
specific focus is to raise staff confidence and ability in the pronunciation of Maori. Opportunities
to broaden staff understanding of the social structure of Maori and the Maori view of the world
are under development. Training for staff on how these concepts can be applied in the Family
Court will be included in a training programme that will be developed for Family Court staff.

Training for the Judiciary is provided by the Institute of Judicial Studies. The Institute
currently offers an optional course in Te Reo Maori, and arranges an annual Marae visit
to promote awareness of Tikanga Maori.

23.3 Remote Location:
If neither party is prepared to travel to where the other lives, it may be possible to locate a
counselor at a halfway location. Separate counseling can also be provided for both parties.
However, joint counseling is encouraged.

23.4 Etc.
Special arrangements can be made for separate counseling sessions if either party feels unsafe.
For example, if the other party has used violence, including psychological abuse, the parties do
not have to attend joint counseling.

24 Has the program been evaluated?

Family Court Dispute Resolution, Preliminary Paper 47
   • “Paper 47”
   • January 2002
   • Law Commission
   • http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/

The Law Commission considered what changes, if any, are necessary and desirable in Family
Court to resolve disputes early. Issues considered (quoted):

•        the role of information-giving, counseling, legal advice,
     mediation, assessment, case management, and adjudication;
•        who might best fulfill each of these functions;
•        how these services are provided;
•        the timing of various interventions and the means of accessing them;
•        how the views and interests of children should be best
    represented, and at what stage in the process;
                       • culturally appropriate personnel and processes.

“… currently, such information as is available from the various departments involved is
insufficient to support a significant analysis of how the Family Court is functioning … In the
absence of data, we are reliant on people’s perceptions of how the system is running, but such
perceptions are inherently subjective.”

The Commission’s paper articulated some of the problems, made some suggestions for change,
and called for client/constituent submissions.

The Law Commission produced Report 82 – “Dispute Resolution in the Family Court” as a
follow-up to Paper 47 and presented it to the Government in March 2003.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              49
                     •    “Report 82”
                     •    http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/Documents/Publications/NZLC%20R82%2
                          0Fam.pdf

The Commission received 126 submissions from individual Family Court clients, and from
representatives of most professionals who work there. They also consulted further with
community client groups and professionals who work in the Court.


25 If so, what were the issues and how was the evaluation conducted (what
   research tools or methods were used)?

26 What were the results, including:

26.1 Rates of agreement or settlement
    N/A

        We are still in the process of attempting to obtain reports containing statistical
        information not made available to the public from the Family Court National
        Office.

        “A Statistical View of Guardianship Act Cases” September 2003, Department of Courts.
        “Family Court Custody and Access Reports 1-8” (1985-1994), Department of Justice.

26.2 User satisfaction with process and outcome:
        Report 82

        “Overall, most of those responding to the preliminary paper were fairly satisfied with
        their counseling. Some, however, were unclear about the goals of counseling. Men
        commented on the low number of male counselors and cited it as an example of systemic
        gender bias in the Family Court.”

26.3 Saving of time: n/a
26.4 Saving of money: n/a

27 What were the conclusions or outcomes? (detail the key findings in point form)

Paper 47

More ADR Earlier

“Where the application is brought under the Guardianship Act 1968 the parties will normally be
referred to counseling as a first step. In other cases, the first step would generally be a registrar’s
list hearing to check service details and give directions concerning the filing of evidence.”

“There is, therefore, a relatively quick entry into a process that is adversarial. While there may be
opportunities for further counseling, for negotiation, and for mediation or settlement conferences,
the aim of the Court intervention is to move the parties down a path towards a hearing … This is


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              50
likely to engender in the parties a state of mind that favours attack and defense rather than mutual
movement towards resolution.”

Recommendation:

“When a person comes to the Family Court, there could be a brief assessment interview, and the
person could be directed to the most appropriate person to help … The first referral may be to an
information session, to sole counseling, to couple counseling, [or] to a family group conference.
In cases where a child is about to be taken out of the country or there has been violence, the
matter would still need immediate referral to a judge. Where the initial referral was for
information or counseling, the matter may then come back for further intake assessment and the
next referral may be, for example, to a judge for consent orders, to a mediation process, for a
mental health assessment for one party, or to a counseling process that involved the children.”

“The object would be to provide case-specific and appropriate intervention at the right time,
rather than a “one size fits all” approach.”

Report 82

Those Attending Counseling

Both married and common law couples are eligible for counseling, but Relationship Services
believes a wider circle of people should be able to attend if, in the view of parties, counselor or
judge, it might help resolve the problem.

“Some counselors we spoke to were concerned that the Act’s references to “marriage”,
“husband”, and “wife” prevent lesbian and gay couples from accessing Family Court counseling.
We agree this is not a sensible or fair distinction, and recommend counseling services be made
available to all couples, regardless of sexual orientation.”

Some Family Court co-ordinators will not refer only one partner to counseling, because an
agreement cannot be reached without both parties being present. The Law Commission believes
that “there are circumstances where it would be useful for one party to ask for and get counseling
even if the other party does not wish to. It may remove a hurdle to resolution, or help a party
accept circumstances that cannot be changed. The Family Court co-ordinator should assess this at
the intake interview.”

“Children of the relationship, step-parents, and extended family members may currently only
attend counseling if the judge so directs … Extended family involvement might be useful,
[however], in the case of reconstituted families. Where parents have separated and re-partnered,
and custody and access issues arise, it might be useful to involve children, parents, and step-
parents (and step-parents’ children) in a group counseling session. Reconstituted families have
special needs that can only be met with the co-operation of all involved.”

“Relationship Services and many other respondents agreed that extended family support for, and
input into, resolving problems via counseling would be useful. Some Mäori, particularly, felt
whänau (tribal/family grouping) support would be helpful for Mäori families, and would
acknowledge the important role of Whanaungatanga (cultural institutions) in Mäori families.”




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             51
Specialist Counseling Services

“Because provision of information about the law and Family Court services is not as
comprehensive as it might be, counselors also currently inform clients about the Family Court.
Some Relationship Services counselors we spoke to said they also conduct what they described as
mediation during counseling sessions.”

“We consider information giving, parenting programmes, mediation and counseling to be
separate processes. These should be kept distinct, and provided by professionals with appropriate
expertise.”

The report recommends providing information about the Family Court and its processes through
printed material, an expanded website, videos, media campaigns, and information sessions for
parents and children, in order to reduce the counselor’s role in explaining the law and the Court
process.

The report also recommends that an expanded mediation program be available to those seeking
help to resolve their disputes. Not judges, but qualified mediators with specialist Family Court
training would conduct these mediations. This “means it would no longer be necessary for
counselors to undertake mediation while counseling clients.”

In view of the increased emphasis [the report proposes] on providing information and mediation,
we do not believe all clients will necessarily need six counseling sessions. Some might resolve
their disputes in less, others might not be amenable to general counseling, or might require urgent
direction for court orders.”

Recommendations (quoted):

    •   Counselors should not conduct mediations during counseling; a mediator should conduct
        mediations.
    •   Automatic provision of six initial counseling sessions should be abolished, making the
        number of sessions discretionary but capped at six, unless there are exceptional
        circumstances.


28 Levels of Usage: no information.

29 Other special features.

Any complaints about the conduct of a counselor are referred to the professional body of which
the counselor is a member. Complaints can also be addressed to the Health and Disability
Commissioner. If a complaint has been made to one of these bodies, the counselor in question
must inform the Court Manager that a complaint has been lodged and of the outcome of any
investigation.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            52
Jurisdiction:            Singapore
Program Name:            Family Court of Singapore

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1.      Jurisdiction Information:

Family Court of Singapore
Tel: (65) 64355110
Fax:(65) 64355112
Website Address: http://www.familycourtofsingapore.gov.sg/index.htm

2.      Court Name:

Family Court of Singapore (Singapore Subordinate Court).

3.      Broad Description of the DR Program:

In the Family Court, free counselling and mediation are provided for divorce and ancillary
matters, as well as for maintenance and family violence disputes.

Counselling services are provided in cases with strong emotional content: Divorce Petitions,
Custody and Access issues and Domestic Violence cases. Mediation sessions will be arranged for
matters such as the Division of Matrimonial Assets, Maintenance and Domestic Violence cases.
Co-Mediation, where a Judge and Counsellor mediate together, is the preferred approach.

A Legal Protection Unit has been established to handle cases of Domestic Violence. The victims
in such cases are referred to the Legal Protection Unit where Counsellors ascertain whether there
is a history of repeated violence. If this is the case and further violence is probable, the
Counsellor will assist the victim to apply for a Court Protection Order. The Court has the power
to remand the offending spouse in prison. The Counsellor may call for the attendance of the
offending spouse for Counselling and Mediation in suitable cases where the violence is less
severe and under control.

Spouses and children who are not properly maintained may resort to a quasi-criminal procedure
to apply for fresh maintenance or enforcement of maintenance arrears at a nominal fee (Section
79, Women’s Charter (Cap 353)).

4.      Types of DR services included in the program (mediation, facilitation, arbitration,
        neutral evaluation etc.)

Mediation and counselling services are integrated into the case process of all contested family
cases, in that before hearing dates are fixed, the court will, with the consent of the parties, refer
them for mediation or counselling. A mediation session will not be conducted unless both parties
have consented to attend the mediation session.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             53
Mediation and counselling are confidential. The judge mediating the dispute will not go on to
hear the case if it proceeds to a hearing. The judge hearing the case will also not be informed of
what proposals/solutions were presented during mediation or counselling.

Mediation and counselling may address both the divorce issue as well as the ancillary matters
(further details below).

Pre-Trial Conference (PTC)

After the required application procedure has been met the court will call parties to attend a PTC if
the divorce Petition is contested. PTCs are conducted by Deputy Registrars (quoted):

(i) to ascertain which issue is in dispute and to consider the possibility of settlement and for this
purpose, to refer parties for mediation or counselling;
(ii) to consider the need for an investigation into and for a report to be prepared on the welfare of
children and whether to appoint a Court Appointed Counsel to protect the welfare of children in
the case of an application for child custody; and
(iii) to give orders on evidence and the preparation of the case to ensure an early and smooth trial.

    •   Family Court of Singapore
    •   Pamphlet: “How to Apply for Divorce”
    •   http://www.familycourtofsingapore.gov.sg/processes/9.

Mediation

Mediation is conducted by judges, deputy registrars, or by members of the court support group,
which consists of volunteers from diverse backgrounds, such as psychologists, social workers,
family therapists or academics.

Mediation is normally referred in cases where the dispute is over the grounds of the divorce, the
division of matrimonial assets or maintenance.

Divorce:

Divorce is a two-stage process. In the first stage, the court will deal with the question of the
divorce itself. In the second stage, the court will deal with the "ancillary matters" (for a clearer
picture of the necessary steps in a matrimonial proceeding see Appendix B).

Divorce Mediation:

Divorce mediation is intended to resolve the issue of the divorce itself – whether the divorce will
be uncontested, what the grounds are, and on whose petition or cross-petition the uncontested
divorce will go through. If necessary, ancillary matters will also be discussed to reach agreement
on all matters.

Ancillary Mediation:

Ancillary mediation deals with issues resulting from divorce – who the children will live with,
how the matrimonial home will be dealt with and divided, how assets will be distributed, how
much maintenance a spouse will get or the children will need.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              54
Ancillary issues such as the division of matrimonial assets will move directly to this stage of the
DR process after PTC. Mediation, however, is still voluntary.

Singapore’s approach to mediation is a court-based mediation process called Court Dispute
Resolution (CDR).

Singapore Court Mediation Model

1. It is Directive in Nature:

The mediator takes a more pro-active role, than that of a mediator practicing facilitative
mediation, by suggesting and guiding the parties with possible options (not to the extent of giving
a definite opinion on the matter).

2. Court Based:

The mediation is court-based – mediation is only provided in cases where the disputants have
filed a Writ of Summons with the courts. Alternatively, the parties in dispute could contact the
Primary Dispute Resolution Centre (PDRC), which is a Subordinate Court Department, for a
Settlement Conference.

3. Judge Mediator

The local culture places in high regard persons of authority such as judges in the courts. In many
instances family mediation will be conducted by a judge.

4. Language and Culture

The mediation sessions or settlement conferences are conducted in English. As the local
population includes a number of large ethnic groups such as Chinese, Malay, Indians and others,
interpreters are provided by the court to assist the parties in mediation. Moreover, the court
interpreters are trained in mediation as well.

5. Voluntary/Consensual in Nature/Flexibility

Court Dispute Resolution (CDR) is conducted on a voluntary basis. Any party can decide to opt
out of the Settlement Conference. The mediation process is consensual in nature. The mediator
does not impose his will on the parties. Any terms of settlement reached must be with the consent
of both parties.

6. Confidentiality

Matters discussed are kept in strict confidence as far as the law allows and disclosures made must
be with the consent of the parties concerned.

7. Single or Co-Mediation

In the civil and commercial cases, mediation is conducted by a single mediator whereas in family
court cases, mediation can either be mediated by a single mediator or co-mediators such as a
counsellor/mediator and a Judge.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             55
8. Code of Ethics

Mediators have to comply with a Code of Ethics which covers areas relating to impartiality,
neutrality, confidentiality, informed consent, conflict of interest and promptness.

Counselling
Counselling is conducted by professional counsellors who have qualifications in social work or
psychology. Parties and/or their children may be ordered by the court to attend counselling.
Counselling is normally referred in cases where the dispute is over the possibility of reconciling
the marriage and the custody or care of or access to the children.
“Counselling seeks to deal with the parties' emotions. In counselling, parties are usually asked to
reflect on their lives, on their perceptions of each other, and on their current situation. The goal is
for parties to come to a better understanding of who they are, as well as who the other person is,
and be able to resolve their differences, based on this new-found understanding.”

    •   “Mediation and Counselling”
    •   Family Court of Singapore Web-site.
    •   http://www.subcourts.gov.sg/Family/programmes/mediation_counsel.htm
Co-mediation jointly conducted by two mediators, a legally trained person (usually a judge) and a
counsellor, “is normally referred in cases which involve issues of a legal nature (such as the
ground of the divorce or division of assets) and an emotional nature (such as whether the
marriage has broken down irretrievably or matters concerning the children)” (How to Apply for
Divorce, Family Court website).
Pre-filing Counselling:

Conciliation counselling may be conducted before divorce proceedings are filed if requested by
the parties. The possibility of reconciliation is discussed. Councillors also assist the parties in
drawing up agreed parenting plans where the parties set out their agreement in relation to custody
and access issues (see Appendix A).

Post-filing Conciliation Counselling:

“In post-filing conciliation counselling, counsellors assist the parties to resolve any custody or
access disputes they might have in an amicable fashion, in order to preserve the relationship
between the parties as much as possible. Reconciliation issues will not be the focus of the
counselling” (Mediation and Counselling, Family Court Website).

Post-filing conciliation counselling may be requested by the parties or ordered by the court.

Divorce Petition / Draft Consent Orders

If the divorce petition is settled through mediation or counselling, the case will be fixed for
uncontested divorce hearing. The hearing lasts five to ten minutes during which the judge
ascertains whether the marriage has irrevocably broken down, and if so, grants a “Decree Nisi”
(provisional order for divorce made absolute after three months).

Where the ancillary matters have been agreed the parties may tender a “Draft Consent Order”
which sets out the terms of agreement on the ancillary matters, for the judge's consideration.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              56
5.      Any issue restrictions?

Counselling and mediation are provided for divorce and ancillary matters, as well as for
maintenance and family violence disputes.

6.      Date instituted

The Family Court was established 1995 and in the same year the Court Mediation Centre
(renamed the Primary Dispute Resolution Centre [PDRC] in 1998) was formed to consolidate the
mediation processes in the Subordinate Courts (civil, family, small claims and criminal matters).

The Centre provides training for the Court Mediators and organizes seminars as well. The Centre
manages the Court Support Groups which include volunteer mediators and counsellors at the
Family/Juvenile Courts.

The Singapore Mediation Model was developed in 1996, with mediation models for Court
Dispute Resolution in civil and family cases. A Code of Ethics for mediators was also drafted.

The Multi-Door Courthouse (MDC) was launched in May 1998, as an extension of the PDRC.
The MDC is a one-stop centre for the screening and channelling of cases. It seeks to increase
public awareness of the dispute resolution process, offer and co-ordinate a selection of high
quality dispute resolution programmes and facilitate the public in locating appropriate dispute
resolution means.

7.      Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
        Directions, Policy, Procedure)

Coming into operation of the Supreme Court of Judicature Order 1996 (Transfer of Matrimonial,
Divorce and Guardianship of Infants Proceedings to Subordinate Court), pursuant to which
matrimonial proceedings of the Women’s Charter and proceedings under the Guardianship of
Infants Act which were commenced on or after 1 April 1996 were transferred to the Subordinate
Courts to be dealt with by the Family Court.

8.      Who administers the program?

The Courts and the PDRC.

9.      Who provides the service(s) – private / public sector

Public sector.

10.     Are the services mandatory or voluntary or both?

Mediation

The Court may make a referral, but the parties are allowed to opt out of mediation by notifying
the court. The parties themselves may apply for mediation.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            57
Counselling

Pre-filing and post-filing conciliation counselling may be requested by the parties, while the latter
may also be ordered by the Court.

11.     If mandatory, are there any exceptions to the dispute resolution requirements?



12.     Is there a screening process?

The MDC provides screening services.

13.     Who selects the neutral (the program or the parties)

The Court (in regards to a judge/mediator) and the PDRC.

14.     What are the required qualifications for the neutral, if any?

Mediators

The mediator will be either a District Judge or Deputy Registrar from the Court, or a volunteer
mediator from the court support group. The District Judges and Deputy Registrars are judicial
officers, who are legally trained. The court support group comprises persons from diverse
backgrounds, such as social workers, psychologists, family therapists and academics.

Counsellors

The Court counsellors are all graduates, who have degrees in either social work or psychology.
All of them have at least 3 years’ experience in social work, counselling work, and work with
children. All of them have also undergone training in family violence and child welfare issues,
and some have had training in specialised areas such as alcohol and drug abuse.

15.     How is the program advertised / promoted

Web site: http://www.familycourtofsingapore.gov.sg/.

16.     How do users access the program (referrals? From whom?)

The Multi Door Courthouse, PDRC, self-referral.


17.     How is the program funded?

Government/Court funded.

18.     Are users charged fees? If so, how much?

Free.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             58
19.     Are there income level restrictions?

No.

20.     Location of the service(s): Court or community

To provide improved service to the public, the Family Court was designed to include mediation
rooms, a waiting area for parties, and a children’s playroom where a female supervisor is
stationed.

21.     Does the program require some form of DR or Pre-Action Protocol before
        commencing action? Yes/No (if Yes, include details for Issue 1b or Issue 2)

The approach of the Singapore Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts (Family Court) is to
encourage parties to mediate early, preferably in advance of litigation by providing them with the
financial incentives to do so.

Instead of mandating mediation, parties are encouraged to use the Primary Dispute Resolution
Centre (PDRC). In order to motivate parties, whose actions have not commenced in the civil
courts, to mediate, the Family Court is prepared to waive or refund court hearing fees (includes
fees for consent orders). This applies even when mediation has been tried and is unsuccessful. All
that is required is a certificate from the Centre to the effect that parties have attempted mediation
in good faith and have made reasonable efforts to resolve the matter by such means. The waiver is
applicable only if the matter was mediated at the Centre.

The Women's Charter Rules require that divorcing parties try to agree on arrangements for the
welfare of every dependent child of the marriage and to enter into an agreed parenting plan (form
provided by the court) that is then presented with the divorce petition. If the parties are unable to
agree on a parenting plan, the parties are encouraged to seek the advice and assistance of a person
“who is trained or has experience in matters relating to child welfare.” If the petitioners are still
unable to reach an agreement, a proposed parenting plan must be set out by both parties outlining
their proposals. Parties are also required to present their agreed or proposed plans on how the
matrimonial assets should be divided upon divorce.

The rationale of these Rules is that even if the early exchange of information and proposals does
not lead to an agreement prior to the commencement of proceedings, the filing of such plans at
the commencement of the divorce case will assist the court to intervene earlier to assist parties to
resolve the issues and hence reduce the acrimony between the parties.



22.     Does the program offer the services to parties in ongoing litigation?

Yes. Counselling may be requested throughout.

23.     How does the program deal with access issues:

        a)      Language: Translators are provided at no cost.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             59
        b)     Culture
        c)     Remote Location
        d)     Etc. Mediation is provided in the evenings for the convenience of litigants who
               have day-time jobs. These sessions are additional to those held during office
               hours. If a domestic violence victim is injured and requires medical treatment,
               referrals can be made to the Medical Clinic within the Family Court’s premises.
               The Legal Clinic is staffed by volunteer doctors. If a victim requires shelter, the
               Family Court can refer them to Family Service Centres for assistance

24.     Has the program been evaluated?

We are currently in contact with the Family Court of Singapore and the PDRC. We hope to be
provided with their in-house analysis of the Family Court’s DR program in the near future.

25.     If so, what were the issues and how was the evaluation conducted (what
        research tools or methods were used)?

26.     What were the results, including:

        a)     Rates of agreement or settlement: At the Family Court, more than 70% of cases
               are settled through mediation and counselling. For contested divorce cases, only
               0.3% of all cases filed have proceeded for trial.
        b)     User satisfaction with process and outcome
        c)     Saving of time
        d)     Saving of money

27.     What were the conclusions or outcomes? (detail the key findings in point form)

28.     Levels of Usage

In terms of caseload, the Family Court handled 5,748 applications in 1995, 11,530 applications in
1996, 12,847 applications in 1997 and 15,078 applications in 1998

29.     Other special features.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            60
                                      APPENDIX A

             IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

Divorce Petition)
                )
No.             )
                )
of              )

                                           Between
                                      Petitioner’s name
                                                             (NRIC No.)
                                 … Petitioner
                                             And
                                     Respondent’s name
                                                            (NRIC No.)
       … Respondent


                            AGREED PARENTING PLAN
The personal particulars of the children of the family are as follows:

[State in respect of each child]

(a) The full name;

(b) The date of birth of the child;

(c) The sex of the child;

(d) The religion of the child;

(e) Whether the child is suffering from serious disability or chronic illness or from the
    effects of that illness [namely, [state the nature of the disability or illness and attach
    a copy of any up-to-date medical report which is available]]; and

(f) Whether the child is under the care or custody of an approved school or approved
    home established under the Children and Young Persons Act (Chapter 38) [namely,
    [give details, and state the date of any order for care or custody and the
    circumstances which gave rise to its being made]]


Related Court Proceedings


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004         61
Currently the following court orders are in force:

(a) Custody or access [state the case number, the nature of the order and the date of the
    order];

(b) Maintenance for the child [state the case number, the nature of the order and the date
    of the order];

(c) Personal protection orders [state in respect of any such order made against either
    party in favour of any member of the family, the case number, the nature of the order
    and the date of the order];

Current arrangements

The current arrangements for the children of the family are as follows:

[State in respect of each child]

(a) Residence [state where the child is currently living with particulars of
    accommodation and what other persons live there, with their names and relationship
    to the child stated];

(b) Care giver [state who has been and who is currently looking after the child during the
    day, at night, during weekends and school holidays];

(c) Education, etc [state the school or other educational establishment which the child
    has been and is currently attending, or if he is working, his place of employment, the
    nature of his work and details of any training he is receiving];

(d) Financial provision [state who has been and is presently supporting the child or
    contributing to his support and the extent thereof]; and

(e) Access [state what are the current arrangements for access and the extent to which
    access has been given].

Other relevant information

State the religion of both parties and any other information which is relevant to the matters
concerning the arrangements for the child, for example, whether the petitioner or respondent is
suffering from any mental or physical disability, whether the petitioner or respondent is an
undischarged bankrupt, whether the petitioner or respondent has any previous convictions and if
so, the nature of the conviction, and whether the petitioner or respondent has been committed to a
drug rehabilitation center and if so, when and for how long.]

Agreed arrangements


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004           62
The agreed arrangements for the children of the family are as follows:

[State in respect of each child]

(a) Residence [state where the child is to live with particulars of accommodation and what other
    persons live there, with their names and relationship to the child stated];

(b) Care giver [state who is to look after the child during the day, at night, during weekends and
    school holidays];

(c) Education, etc [state the school or other educational establishment which the child will
    attend, or if he is working, his place of employment, the nature of his work and details of any
    training he will receive];

(d) Financial provision [state who will support the child or contribute to his support and the
    extend thereof]; and

(e) Access [state what are the agreed arrangements for access].


We, the petitioner and the respondent, confirm that we have agreed to the terms set out above.


        Dated this                 day of    20

                                                                          Signed

                                                                  Petitioner       Respondent




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            63
                                 APPENDIX B




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004   64
Jurisdiction:            United States - California
Program Name:            Sacramento County Child Custody / Visitation Mediation

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1.      Jurisdiction Information:

Office of Family Court Services
William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse
3341 Power Inn Road
Sacramento, California, 95826
916-875-2600

Website address: http://www.saccourt.com/

2.      Court Name:

Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

3.      Broad Description of the DR Program:

Once a Family law action has been commenced in the County of Sacramento in which child
custody or visitation are contested, section 3170 of the California Family Code requires that those
issues be set for mediation. The County’s “Local Rules” require the parties to participate in
“mediation/evaluation” prior to the first court hearing. Evaluations are ordered by the Court. The
mediation requirement is triggered if, after the action is commenced:
        One party files a Petition for Mediation (this appears to be similar to the Notice to
        Mediate and will lead to a mediation with the FCS);
        One party files an Order to Show Cause or a Notice of Motion in the action (the Court
        then automatically refers it to mediation);
        One party files a Petition for Private Mediation (i.e. with a private sector mediator); or
        The court orders the parties to mediation.

The parties are first required to attend a free, 1.5 hour Orientation Session provided by the Office
of Family Court Services (“FCS”) that is designed to teach parents about children’s
developmental stages and how they impact parenting plans. Children are not allowed in this
session but babysitting services are provided.

Parties may submit a “Social History Questionnaire” to the FCS prior to the mediation but they
must serve a copy on the other party.

The mediation can be conducted by the FCS mediator or by a private-sector mediator (see below).
A two-hour mediation session is provided free of charge by the FCS; the parties are responsible to
pay for a private mediator. The mediation is scheduled to occur within 28 days of the relevant
event noted above and before a formal court hearing. If the parties wish to participate in
additional mediation sessions they must pay for it themselves.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             65
Children 5 yrs and older are required to attend the mediation session. The mediator has a duty
under Family Code section 3180 to assess the needs and interests of the child and has a discretion
to interview the child to that end. The mediation is held in private and is confidential. The
mediator has authority to exclude non-parties (including counsel) from the mediation session.

If the issues are resolved in mediation, the mediator will prepare a written agreement that will
eventually be signed by the parties (or their counsel) and form the basis of a Court order. The
hearing date is cancelled (unless the mediator does not believe that the agreement is in the best
interests of the child and so informs the court).

If the mediation occurred as a result of a Petition for Mediation, the mediator issues a written
confidential report to the parties. Otherwise, if there are issues that are unresolved the mediator is
required to inform the court of those issues and to submit written recommendations to the Court
on such matters as:
        Whether the FSC should conduct an evaluation;
        Temporary parenting plan pending completion of the evaluation;
        Appointment of a psychologist or psychiatrist to evaluate the parties and children
        Appointment of an attorney to represent minor children;
        Issuance of restraining orders to protect the children
        Use of a Special Master.


4.      Types of DR services included in the program (mediation, facilitation, arbitration,
        neutral evaluation etc.)

Mediation
Evaluation

5.      Any issue restrictions?

Only applies to contested issues re child custody or visitation.

6.      Date instituted

Unknown.

7.      Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
        Directions, Policy, Procedure)

California Family Code: 3160 – 3186 (Mediation)
California Rules of Court 5.210 Court connected child custody mediation
Local Rules 14.08

8.      Who administers the program?

Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, Office of Family Court Services

9.      Who provides the service(s) – private / public sector



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             66
Mediation services are provided either by:
      Public (FSC free 2-hour mediation): The court employs experienced Family Law Counselors
      who have Master’s Degrees and specialized training in areas pertaining to children and
      families. These areas include, but are not limited to, conflict resolution, parenting techniques,
      children’s developmental stages, domestic violence, substance abuse, and child abuse and
      neglect; or

      Private: It is the court’s policy to allow for private mediation if one or more parties wish the
      mediation to occur in the private sector. The Court maintains a list of mediators who have
      met the Court mediation training standard and have participated in the Superior Court
      mediation program for at least 36 hours in the past year. They include attorney-mediators
      (qualified for all family law areas) and therapist-mediators (who are qualified only for
      custody and visitation issues). See below for selection mechanisms.
10.       Are the services mandatory or voluntary or both?

The Orientation Session and Mediation/Evaluation are mandatory in all cases in which child
custody or visitation are contested.

11.       If mandatory, are there any exceptions to the dispute resolution requirements?

- Cases may be immediately referred to FCS in an emergency situation such as imminent danger
to a child or if there is a risk of parental flight.
- The parties do not have to attend the Orientation Session if they have attended within the
previous 12 months.
- Parties who reside outside a 150-mile radius of the courthouse may be excused from attending
the orientation session with advance written notice.
- Telephone mediation/evaluation can be used if either party resides out of state or will suffer an
extreme hardship by traveling to the FCS.

12.       Is there a screening process?

Concern about violence in family law cases has prompted a reevaluation of policies and
procedures that govern services to families. The Uniform Standards for Court-Connected
Mediation of Child Custody and Visitation Disputes (California Standards of Judicial
Administration section 26) invokes safeguards such as separate mediation sessions and the
inclusion of support persons. It also makes provisions for mediator training in the area of
domestic violence.

The new mediation standards adopted by the Judicial Council effective July 1, 2001 (Rule 1257.1
of the California Rules of Court which was later incorporated into Rule 5.210) are even more
responsive to this area and basically mandate screening for domestic violence.

The Judicial Council also adopted rule 1257.7, Domestic Violence Training Standards for Court-
Appointed Child Custody Investigators and Evaluators, effective Jan 1, 1999. These standards
have been incorporated into Rule 5.215, Domestic Violence Protocol for Family Court Services,
which sets out detailed protocols for intake and screening. These rules can be found at:
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules/titlefive/titlefive.pdf

Family Code sections 1815 and 1816 provide details on the training required of mediators.


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004               67
Generally, both parents are expected to attend the mediation session together. However, if there
has been an alleged history of domestic violence or if there is a protective order (restraining
order) in place one party may request separate interviews.

Rule 5.210(d) provides that each court must ensure that:
(D) The mediation program uses a detailed intake process that screens for, and informs the
mediator about, any restraining orders or safety-related issues affecting any party or child named
in the proceedings to allow compliance with relevant law or court rules before mediation begins.
In addition the court must ensure that the intake form and court file is reviewed prior to
commencement of the mediation (presumably to identify any safety concerns).

If there is a protective order in place the party has the right to a support person. However, the
FCS mediator may exclude the domestic violence support person from the mediation if they are
disruptive.


13.     Who selects the neutral (the program or the parties)

For FCS mediations, the FCS selects the inhouse mediator.
For Private mediations, one party can file a Petition for Private Mediation and name two proposed
private mediators. This document is served on the other party and if they do not want the matter
mediated by a private mediator or they object to the particular mediators proposed they must file
a Response to Petition for Private Mediation within 5 days. If they object to the proposed
mediators they must also provide the names of two alternative private mediators (and who will
pay for them). If no response is filed the court will select one of the two mediators proposed by
the first party. The requesting party must initially agree to pay all mediation fees subject to the
court’s right to allocate costs in the action.
The rules provide that if there is a conflict in this selection process the court may schedule a
telephonic conference call, schedule an ex parte hearing or make a decision based on the filed
documents.


14.     What are the required qualifications for the neutral, if any?

Section 3164 of the Family Code requires that the mediators must meet the minimum
qualifications required of a counselor of conciliation as provided in section 1815 of the Code:
(1) A master's degree in psychology, social work, marriage, family and child counseling, or other
behavioral science substantially related to marriage and family interpersonal relationships.
(2) At least two years of experience in counseling or psychotherapy, or both, preferably in a
setting related to the areas of responsibility of the family conciliation court and with the ethnic
population to be served.
(3) Knowledge of the court system of California and the procedures used in family law cases.
(4) Knowledge of other resources in the community to which clients can be referred for
assistance.
(5) Knowledge of adult psychopathology and the psychology of families.
(6) Knowledge of child development, child abuse, clinical issues relating to children, the effects
of divorce on children, the effects of domestic violence on children, and child custody research
sufficient to enable a counselor to assess the mental health needs of children.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            68
Private mediators retained on these matters must have met the Court mediation training standard
and have participated in the Superior Court mediation program for at least 36 hours in the
previous year.

The California Rules of Court 5.210 provides:

(f) [Training, continuing education, and experience requirements for mediator, mediation
supervisor, and family court services director] As specified in Family Code sections 1815 and
1816:
(1) All mediators, mediation supervisors, and family court service
program directors must:
  (A) Complete a minimum of 40 hours of custody and visitation
mediation training within the first six months of initial
employment as a court-connected mediator;
  (B) Attend related continuing education programs, conferences, and workshops; and
  (C) Participate in performance supervision and peer review.
(2) Each family court services director and mediation supervisor must attend at least 32 hours of
additional training each calendar year. This requirement may be satisfied in part by the domestic
violence training required by Family Code section 1816.


15.     How is the program advertised / promoted

The court website is excellent and provides online information, forms and brochures in easy to
understand language with helpful links.

16.     How do users access the program (referrals? From whom?)

The parties are directed to the mediation/evaluation process by court staff.
The Court offers the “Family Law Facilitators Office” in the court house that assists parties to
find and complete the correct court forms. See Note __ below for more information on this
program.
The “Self-Help Center”, also located in the courthouse, offers workshops and assistance in
various family law issues including modifying child support and “parentage”.
There is an excellent website available to users: California Courts Self-Help Centre:
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/family/custody/visitation.htm.
The Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California also provides pro bono legal
services in the courthouse to low income parties.

17.     How is the program funded?

Government/court funded.

18.     Are users charged fees? If so, how much?

No charge for the fist two-hour mediation session through the FCS. Parties are only allowed to
access this service once every 6 months. Custody evaluations cost the parties $75/hour. The
parties are responsible to pay for the costs of any private mediators.

19.     Are there income level restrictions?

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004               69
No. The website provides a good list of referral agencies.

20.     Location of the service(s): Court or community

At the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse.

21.     Does the program require some form of DR or Pre-Action Protocol before
        commencing action? Yes/No (if Yes, include details for Issue 1b or Issue 2)

No. The mandatory DR applies only after an action has been commenced.

22.     Does the program offer the services to parties in ongoing litigation?

Yes, as described above.

23.     How does the program deal with access issues:

        a)     Language: The brochure
               (http://www.saccourt.com/geninfo/Publications/Brochures/FL%20Brochure%20English.P
               DF) is published in five languages.
        b)     Culture
        c)     Remote Location: see above.
        d)     Etc.

24.     Has the program been evaluated?

This specific program in Sacramento has not been evaluated. However, child custody mediation
has been the subject of numerous studies and reports in California. An excellent website which
collects these reports is http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/4_18fam_custvis.htm.

The most recent report on that website was issued in September 2000 (Preparing Court-based
Child Custody mediation Services for the Future). It records trends including:
       Steady growth in volume
       more clients/parents are unrepresented
       there is a need for cultural competence to meet increasing ethnic diversity
       many users have existing custody arrangements (through orders or otherwise) and seek
       modification
       increasing numbers of parents have never been married (approx. 25%). Of those, nearly
       25% never lived together or experienced co-parenting
       shrinking resources for families
       lower educational levels (more than one-third of the parents had no more than a high-
       school diploma)
       multi-problem families requiring a greater range of expertise from the courts
       increasing concerns about safety (domestic violence)

In 2001 the Judicial Council of California published a report entitled “Survey of Proceedings
Involving Children and Families”. The survey was directed to all of California’s courts dealing
with children and family issues. The link to the report is:

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004           70
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc/pdffiles/coordreport.pdf

Key results include:
       93% of the Calif. Courts provide for family court mediation and family court facilitation.
       84% provide child custody investigation and evaluation

California’s Administrative Office of the Courts (Center for Families, Children and the Courts)
tracks the court-based child custody mediation programs in the state (presumably including the
county of Sacramento). Since 1991, it has collected this information through the Statewide
Uniform Statistical Reporting System (SUSRS) and includes surveys of parents and mediators.
In April 2004, the Office published a Research Update summarizing the results of a Parent
Viewpoint survey from the 1999 SUSRS. The link to this report is:
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc/pdffiles/Clientfdbk.pdf.
This report is definitely worth reading. Key findings included:
         over 80% provided positive feedback on the mediation overall
         87% said they would recommend mediation to others for these issues and that mediation
         is a good way to come up with a parenting plan
         approx. 90% provided feedback that the process focused well on the best interests of the
         child(ren)
         90%+ ratings on process dynamics (feeling safe during mediation, treated with respect
         etc.)
Quoting from the report (page 9):
[Using regression analysis] “The six variables that were found to have the greatest effects on
client feedback are listed below, in order of their relative impact.
1. Service model: Clients in nonrecommending courts were more likely to provide positive
feedback than those in recommending courts.
2. Number of issues raised about parents: The greater the number of issues raised, the less likely
clients were to provide positive feedback.
3. Legal representation: Clients without attorneys provided more positive feedback than those
with attorneys.
4. Personal monthly income: Compared with parents who earned more than $2,000 a month,
those who earned $800 or less per month were less likely to provide positive feedback.
5. Marital status: Compared with parents who were never married or were still legally married,
divorced parents were the least likely to provide positive feedback.
6. Parental role: Overall, mothers were more likely than fathers to provide positive feedback.
However, mothers were less likely to report having felt safe during the mediation session.

25.     If so, what were the issues and how was the evaluation conducted (what
        research tools or methods were used)?

26.     What were the results, including:

        a)     Rates of agreement or settlement
        b)     User satisfaction with process and outcome
        c)     Saving of time
        d)     Saving of money

See details described above.

27.     What were the conclusions or outcomes? (detail the key findings in point form)

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            71
See details described above.

28.     Levels of Usage

29.     Other special features.


Note 1: Family Law Facilitators Program
Assembly Bill 1058 requires the superior court in each of California’s 58 counties to
maintain an Office of the Family Law Facilitator to provide litigants with free
education, information, and assistance with child support issues. Each court
appoints a California-licensed attorney with mediation or litigation experience in
family law to head the office. The family law facilitator does not represent any party,
and there is no attorney-client relationship. For the parents, facilitators help demystify
courtroom procedures and humanize the court system.
For commissioners, judges, and court personnel, facilitators increase the effectiveness
of child support decisions because, with facilitators’ help, parents prepare their legal
papers correctly and more fully understand how to present their cases and collect
support. Facilitators may have other duties such as mediation of support issues,
helping parties draft agreements, and preparing formal orders consistent with the
court’s announced order. Individual courts may create additional duties for the
facilitator— within the limits established by statute— as the program matures and the
need arises and as additional funding is secured. Statewide, family law facilitator
offices report more than 200,000 visits each year from those seeking help with child
support issues.

Note 2: It may be of interest to the Working Group to know that the South Plains Dispute
Resolution Centre (serving six counties) is, as of January 1, 2004, now a department of Lubbock
County (and is now called the “Dispute Resolution Centre”). It is accountable to the Lubbock
County Board of Judges. Judicial governance and appointing the Center Director/Master of
Dispute Resolution for a DRC provides Texas with a new approach for delivering ADR services.
Funding for the Center is derived from non-county tax dollars. The DRC has an annual budget of
approximately $500,000.00 and does not anticipate demanding additional statutory ADR dollars
in the future. More information can be obtained from the Lubbock County website:
http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/drc/index.htm. Lubbock and Hockley counties automatically refer
divorce cases to mediation. Lubbock County has a mandatory family/divorce referral process
which began in 1989, and has proven successful in reducing the number of divorce cases heard by
the courts. Hockley County refers all divorce cases prior to a temporary or final hearing.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             72
Jurisdiction:            United States – Texas
Program Name:            Mandatory mediation and Collaborative Law Provisions

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1    Jurisdiction Information:

State-wide provisions – implemented at the County level
For example: Harris County District Court
The Family Courthouse
1115 Congress, Houston Texas 77002
Legal Division Public Info.
@ 713-755-6757
http://www.justex.net/ (Harris County

1    Court Name:

County Commissioner’s Court.

2    Broad Description of the DR Program:

The Texas Family Code was amended in 2001 to include new sections that deal with the
collaborative law process in the context of actions relating to dissolution of marriage and parent-
child relationships (custody, visitation etc.) – details below.
In most counties, the court’s local rules mandate mediation in family cases (particularly disputed
custody/visitation issues). In addition, when setting dates for hearings or trials, the local rules of
Harris County provides incentives for the use of ADR. They give the courts discretion to provide
preference to those matters in which the parties have participated in alternate dispute resolution
procedures (see below for more details).

From 1987 to 2003, the Family Code encouraged the use of ADR by requiring that an “ADR
Statement” be included in the first pleading filed by the parties. This statement, signed by the
party initiating the action, contained an acknowledgement that the party was aware of ADR
methods and a commitment to use ADR to resolve the issues before trial. However, in 2003, this
provision was repealed, apparently as a result of feedback that since mediation was already being
used extensively in the area of family law (and is mandatory in many Texas counties) this
statement was no longer necessary and possibly caused additional legal costs and inconvenience
to the parties.

Chapter 152 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code establishes a county-by-county
system for the creation, funding and administration of an "alternative dispute resolution system,"
commonly known as community dispute resolution centers or mediation centers. Funding for
these centers is obtained by an additional court/filing cost ($10) in civil cases in the county courts
and district courts.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             73
3    Types of DR services included in the program (mediation, facilitation, arbitration,
     neutral evaluation etc.)

Collaborative Law
Mandatory mediation

4    Any issue restrictions?

The Harris County Rules limit mandatory referral to mediation to disputed custody or visitation
issues.

The Collaborative law provisions of the Family Code are limited to actions for dissolution of
marriage and actions affecting the parent-child relations.

5    Date instituted

Various.

6    Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
     Directions, Policy, Procedure)

Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems and Financing Act: In 1983, the Texas legislature
passed the Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems and Financing Act which authorizes the
commissioners court of each county to "establish an alternative dispute resolution system for the
peaceable and expeditious resolution of citizen disputes." This act defines an alternative dispute
resolution system as a "forum in which mediation, conciliation, or arbitration is used to resolve
disputes among individuals". In order to establish and maintain such programs, the act authorizes
each county's commissioners court to tax an additional cost, not to exceed ten dollars, on the
filing fee in certain civil cases. In Travis County, the full ten dollars is collected by the
commissioners court and funds the DRC's basic operations.

Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act: Four years later, in 1987, the Texas
Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act (ADR Act) was enacted. The ADR Act proclaims
that "It is the policy of this state to encourage the peaceable resolution of disputes, with special
consideration given to disputes involving the parent-child relationship, including mediation of
issues involving conservatorship, possession, and support of children, and the early settlement of
pending litigation through voluntary settlement procedures." Five dispute resolution processes to
which disputes can be referred are described by the ADR Act: mediation, mini-trial, moderated
settlement conference, summary jury trial and arbitration. Mediation is defined as "a forum in
which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between parties to promote
reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them." This Act is codified as chapter 152 of
the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

The Texas Family Code includes many references to dispute resolution processes:

        6.505 provides that during a divorce action the court may order the parties to attend
        counseling. The counselor is required to submit a report to the court providing an
        opinion as to whether there is a reasonable expectation of reconciliation and, if so,
        whether further counseling would be appropriate;


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             74
        6.602 provides that by agreement or by order of the court a dispute for dissolution of
        marriage may be referred to mediation. Provided certain criteria are met, a mediation
        agreement will be enforced as an order of the court.

        153.071 provides that if the parties agree an action relating to the parent-child
        relationship (what we refer to as custody) may be referred to binding or non-binding
        arbitration or to mediation.

In 2001, sections 6.603 and 153.0072 were added to the Texas Family Code with respect to
actions for dissolution of marriage or involving parent-child relationships (conservatorship,
possession and access). These sections “institutionalize” the collaborative law process by clearly
stating that, during an ongoing action, the parties may agree to use collaborative procedures.
They describe collaborative law and prescribe what must be in the participation agreement. The
sections also provide that, if notified 30 days before trial that the parties are using the
collaborative law procedures, the court action is put “on hold” i.e. the court may not set a hearing
or trial, impose discovery deadlines, require compliance with scheduling orders or dismiss the
case. The parties are required to notify the court if a settlement is reached and also to provide
regular status reports. There is an ultimate deadline of two years from the date the action was
commenced.

Most Texas district courts have enacted local rules that mandate mediation in family cases. In
Harris County, for example, local rule 7 provides as follows:

7.1 Temporary Hearings. In appropriate cases involving disputed custody or visitation
issues, the court shall make referrals for mediation to Family Court Services or other
private mediators agreed upon by the parties and attorneys. Additional issues may be
mediated by agreement of the parties and attorneys. Attorneys may attend all mediations.
7.2 Final Trial. Except for good cause shown, all cases shall be submitted for alternate
dispute resolution procedures before trial.
7.3 Settlement Weeks. Referral of appropriate cases to alternate dispute resolution
procedures shall be made at one or more settlement weeks each year as provided by law.
There is little available information about what are “appropriate cases” under rule 7.1. This
phrase likely assumes that the court has a discretion to exempt cases involving domestic violence.

In addition, the local rules of Harris County provide that when setting dates for hearings and
trials, preference shall be given to matters in which the parties have participated in alternate
dispute resolution procedures (Rule 3.2.2 and 3.7.3).

7    Who administers the program?

Family Trial Division, Judicial District Courts of Harris County, Texas (for example).

8    Who provides the service(s) – private / public sector


Collaborative law - Private Sector: Family law lawyers participate in collaborative law. There
are many web resources for collaborative lawyers in Texas including
www.dallascollaborativelaw.com.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             75
Mandatory mediation: private sector. Through a contractual arrangement, Courts refer
mediations to one of Texas’ 17 Dispute Resolution Centers. These centers are administered at the
county level and are funded by a $10 filing fee (imposed pursuant to chapter 152 of the Texas
Civil Practice and Remedies Code (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/cp.toc.htm).
The fee has provided a stable financial base for ADR centers in Texas. Currently, this fee-based
contribution provides about half of the operational budget for the Center, the remainder coming
from training and client fee revenues and grants. Each center employs a small staff and provides
the services of volunteer mediators. For example, the DRC of Travis County (Austin Texas)
utilizes the efforts of over 150 volunteer mediators, providing services for 800 to 1000 cases per
year and serving up to 5,000 citizens involved in disputes and/or seeking conflict resolution
related training. The Center supports a staff of eight employees. Please see NOTE 2 below.

Joyce Jones of the Dallas DRC (Dispute Mediation Service, Inc.) advises that they have no
shortage of applications to join the roster. In fact, she says that they receive 200 – 250
applications and choose 40. They currently have 1700 volunteer mediators on their list (since the
1980’s) and about 280 of those are actively conducting mediations.

9    Are the services mandatory or voluntary or both?

Participation in collaborative law processes is voluntary.

Participation in the mandatory mediation processes under the local rules are mandatory.

10 If mandatory, are there any exceptions to the dispute resolution requirements?

The Court has a discretion as to what cases are “appropriate” to be referred to mediation.

11 Is there a screening process?

Collaborative lawyers should be screening for appropriateness including power imbalances and
domestic violence.


Mandatory mediation – the referral is to be made only if the court considers the case to be
“appropriate”. Each DRC has an intake procedure that screens for family violence. The tool used
by the DMS (Dallas DRC) is described at:
http://www.txmediator.org/tools/Screening%20For%20Domestic%20Abuse.htm.

It is carried out face to face separately with each person.

The Texas Family Code contains many provisions relating to family violence and the processes
for applying for a “protective order” (Title 4).

12 Who selects the neutral (the program or the parties)

The parties select their counsel for collaborative law processes.

For the mandatory mediation processes referred by the Court to a DRC, the DRC’s Case Manager
selects the neutral from the list of volunteer mediators. The parties (or their counsel) are able to

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              76
state a preference for a particular mediator and the DRC will try to comply but ultimately it is the
Case Manager’s decision.

13 What are the required qualifications for the neutral, if any?

Typically, each DRC has a roster of volunteer mediators (who conduct the mediations on a pro
bono basis) from a wide variety of backgrounds. The must complete the 40 hour training from an
accepted training institution. Most have inhouse training programs and some have practicum
programs to provide trained but inexperienced mediators with experience mediating on an
observation / co-mediation / solo mediation model.

The ADR Procedures Act 1987 provides:
§ 154.052. QUALIFICATIONS OF IMPARTIAL THIRD PARTY.
(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), to
qualify for an appointment as an impartial third party under this subchapter a person must have
completed a minimum of 40 classroom hours of training in dispute resolution techniques in a
course conducted by an alternative dispute resolution system or other dispute resolution
organization approved by the court making the appointment.
(b) To qualify for an appointment as an impartial third
party under this subchapter in a dispute relating to the
parent-child relationship, a person must complete the training required by Subsection (a) and an
additional 24 hours of training in the fields of family dynamics, child development, and family
law.
(c) In appropriate circumstances, a court may in its
discretion appoint a person as an impartial third party who does not qualify under Subsection (a)
or (b) if the court bases its appointment on legal or other professional training or experience in
particular dispute resolution processes.


Texas has not yet adopted a comprehensive scheme to regulate the profession of mediation.
While some states have adopted statutes to credential and regulate mediators, Texas is
approaching the issue differently. On one front, the Texas Supreme Court is working on
proposed rules to provide for the registration and regulation of mediators in all court annexed
cases. On a second front, all of the major mediator organizations in Texas have established the
Texas Mediator Credentialing Association which will provide a Texas-style, that is to say
voluntary and self-regulatory, approach to achieving and maintaining mediator quality and
professionalism.4

The Texas Association of Mediators adopted Standards of Practice for Mediators (drawn largely
on the 2002 ACR model). A copy can be found at:
http://www.txmediator.org/TAM%20SOP.pdf

14 How is the program advertised / promoted

Most DRC’s have their own website with comprehensive information, rules, forms etc.
See, for example, the Dallas DRC (DMS: Dispute Mediation Service, Inc.) at:
http://www.dms-adr.org/index.html.

4
 2001 Texas ADR Legislative Report
(http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/cppdr/LegislativeReport2001.pdf).

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             77
15 How do users access the program (referrals? From whom?)

Upon receiving the court order referring the matter to mediation, the parties contact the local
authorized DRC to begin the scheduling process.

16 How is the program funded?

Approximately half of the DRC funding comes from the $10/case filing fee. The remainder is
funded through a reasonable fee schedule. See the next section.

17 Are users charged fees? If so, how much?

Each DRC has its own fee schedule. For example, the Harris County DRC states that it provides
free court-annexed mediation services to all the courts and the public in Harris County. The
services include arbitration and moderated settlement conferences as well as mediation in family,
litigation, and community cases, among others. To qualify for most of these services, a person
must generally meet certain income and amount-in-controversy requirements. The DRC provides
these services with the help of Houston Bar Association members and other community
volunteers. The fee schedule will apply to those who do not qualify for waiver.

The fee schedule for the DMS (Dallas) for mediated cases in litigation is as follows:
Justice of the Peace Court and municipal
Courts                                     $15/party
County Courts and District Courts           $80/party
Court of appeals                            $100/party
Federal Courts                              $100/party
Out of county cases: a $50 surcharge is added to the fee per party in any case filed in an out-of-
county court. No cases are accepted from counties with their own dispute resolution centers.

The DMS (Dallas) provides a “waiver of fees” as follows:
“Fees are waived in cases referred from Family Court Service, Criminal Courts, District Attorney, Juvenile
Department. Sheriff's Department, Police, Legal Aid of North Texas, any department of Dallas County
government, and the Attorney General's office.

No fees will be charged for parties represented by pro bono legal service.
Fees may be waived for any person who certifies to the Executive Director inability to pay.”



18 Are there income level restrictions?

No.

19 Location of the service(s): Court or community

The DRC’s provide their own facilities.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                 78
20 Does the program require some form of DR or Pre-Action Protocol before commencing
       action? Yes/No (if Yes, include details for Issue 1b or Issue 2)

No.

21 Does the program offer the services to parties in ongoing litigation?

Yes, as described above.

22 How does the program deal with access issues:

22.1 Language: The websites often have information in Spanish. The family intake form asks
        the parties if a bilingual mediator is necessary.
22.2 Culture
22.3 Remote Location
22.4 Etc.

23 Has the program been evaluated?

We could not locate any formal evaluation of either the collaborative law procedures or the
mandatory mediation processes at the county level.

24 If so, what were the issues and how was the evaluation conducted (what
   research tools or methods were used)?

25 What were the results, including:

25.1    Rates of agreement or settlement
25.2    User satisfaction with process and outcome
25.3    Saving of time
25.4    Saving of money

26 What were the conclusions or outcomes? (detail the key findings in point form)

27 Levels of Usage

28 Other special features.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004               79
Jurisdiction: United States / Washington DC
Program Name:       Multi-Door DR Program, Family Mediation Program

Issue 1a:
Summary of Dispute Resolution Programs in Other Jurisdictions re Separation and
Divorce.

1   Jurisdiction Information:
        H. Carl Moultrie I Courthouse
        500 Indiana Avenue NW
        John Marshall Level
        Washington, DC 20001
        Telephone 202-879-1549
        Division director: David E. Michael
        Telephone: 202-879-1334 (telephone interview conducted June 22/04)
        Presiding Judge: Steffen W. Graae
        Phone: 202-879-1244

        Website address:         The DC Bar Association maintains the website for the Superior
        Court.
        http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/courts/superior_court/multi_door_dispute_resolution_division/a
        bout.cfm

2   Court Name (if applicable):
        D.C. Superior Court; D.C. Superior Court Family Court

3   Broad Description of the DR Program:

The Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division is the dispute resolution center for the D.C. Superior
Court. Created in 1985 as part of a pilot project sponsored by the American Bar Association, it
became a full operating division of the court in 1989.

A multi-door courthouse typically offers an array of dispute resolution options or screens cases
and then channels them to particular ADR methods. Some multi-door courthouses refer all cases
of certain types to particular ADR programs, while others offer litigants a menu of options in
each case.

There are four primary programs administered by the DC multi-door division:
1. Small Claims Mediation Program

2. Family Mediation Program

3. Civil Dispute Resolution Program and

4. Community Family Information and Referral Center

Probate, tax and complex civil cases are also mediated by Multi-Door mediators. In May of 1998,
the division opened yet another "door" at the courthouse by undertaking the management of a
Child Protection Mediation Pilot Program to assist in the resolution of child abuse and neglect
cases at the court.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             80
For the purposes of this review we will focus on the program’s activities in the Family Mediation
Program.
People come into the program in one of two ways:
1.      They self-refer (approximately one-third). That is, they call the program and express an
        interest in mediating their family dispute (either before or during the litigation), or they
        walk in off the street and ask for help. These people will meet first with a DR Specialist
        (a member of the Community Information and Referral Program). The Specialist
        discusses the issues and screens for domestic violence, safety issues etc. For family
        cases, the parties are usually referred to mediation. If an agreement is reached it can be
        confirmed as a Court Order.
2.      Court referral (approximately two-thirds). After the action has been commenced (filed)
        the parties are required to attend a first status hearing before a Judge. The Family Court
        Judges makes a “presumptive referral” to the Family Mediation Program.


The Family Mediation Program provides mediation of custody, visitation and property issues in
domestic relations cases when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The service is provided by
practicing attorneys with substantial expertise in the area of domestic relations. The purpose of
this service is to encourage early settlement of these issues. Child Protection Mediation is
conducted under a separate program.

Family issues can be mediated prior to filing a formal complaint in court. Cases are eligible for
mediation if one or both parties live in the District of Columbia, if there is a dispute about
property division, spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation, or other matters
incident to separation or divorce. Typically, over 50% of parties are able to reach a consensus on
future relationships among themselves and their children in mediation.

The Division has a staff of 25. However, features that distinguish this program from many other
court-annexed DR programs are that all of the programs are run by volunteers from a variety of
backgrounds and experience (legal training is not required) as well as the close involvement of
the DC Bar Association. The Division receives applications and then schedules regular
“orientation and screening” sessions involving explanation of the program and the required
commitment and a brief interview and possibly a short written exercise. Those selected for
family mediation training participate in 55 hours of training in total over a 7 – 12 day period
(even if they have previously taken mediation training). The training is “free” but participants
must be willing and able to make a firm commitment to the court. For one year following
successful completion of training, volunteers will mediate a minimum number of cases or
sessions.

Volunteer neutrals must complete six hours of work pro bono each year, after which they receive
a small stipend, paid monthly, for each matter to which they are assigned (between $US 40 and
120 per session). That amount is enough to retain their services for a longer period.

The role of the DR Specialist is critical. They are independent contractors who work 2 – 3 days
per week with the Community Information and Referral Program. They are paid on an hourly
basis (market wages) to encourage them to remain with the program. They come from a variety
of backgrounds and many are either retired or in a career transition. They receive 2 days of
training. They are extremely talented individuals who are very committed to the program. The
DR Specialists assist all of the Multi-Door programs (including the Family Mediation Program).
They perform 3 primary functions:


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             81
        Community disputes (landlord/tenant; neighbours etc.): they receive calls or walk-ins
        from people who have a wide variety of problems. Often they are not even able to
        articulate what the problem is. The DR Specialist:

            o   Provides information

            o   Makes referrals to appropriate social service and other agency (over 300 on the
                list)

            o   Provides “conciliation” – telephone shuttle negotiation

            o   Mediates the dispute (only some are trained mediators)

        Family Mediation Program intake interviews – screening for domestic violence etc.

        Workplace resolution centre – Court employees who have disputes in the workplace; also
        provide employers with advice and counseling to deal with employee disputes

David Michael has been the Division's director since 1997. During an interview in September
2003 he explained what multi-door ADR resolution is and how it came about in Washington,
D.C. "The whole idea of multi-door ADR was the brainchild of a Harvard law professor named
Frank Sander. He presented this concept back in 1976 at a gathering of [American] judges and
lawyers who were meeting to address popular dissatisfaction with the judiciary," Michael said.

"At the time Frank presented his concept of the multi-door courthouse, it was revolutionary
because it suggested that a courthouse ought to have many doors and that people ought to be able
to choose what form of dispute resolution might best fit their needs," Michael continued. "For
example, through one door, they might get a trial, through another door, just information -- or
perhaps mediation, or a neutral case evaluation. What Sander really was suggesting is that we
orient the courthouse toward the public, not towards lawyers, and that a variety of ADR methods,
or doors, be provided." In effect, multi-door courthouses were a systematic means of providing
ADR to the public and a method for streamlining the way courts operated.

"Multi-door was piloted here in Washington, D.C. and two other locations -- in Houston, Texas,
and in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- back in 1985," Michael noted. "Since then, it has been duplicated in
other jurisdictions in various forms -- and also abroad. We see it now in Argentina, and also in
Singapore, Nigeria and Portugal, for example. I think it's appealing because it is a comprehensive
approach. The United States still probably leads in ADR saturation, but the systems that have
been set up around the country are not always as comprehensive and integrated as here in
[Washington] D.C."

Asked what kind of cases the Washington, D.C. multi-door center covers, Michael said "most of
the doors at the center open to mediation. We work with 12 different case types. For example, we
started with civil, small claims and community cases. Since then, we've expanded to cover family
cases, including divorce, tax and probate cases, child protection cases and workplace disputes.
This past March, we started to cover landlord-tenant cases. The point is, we are still evolving and
changing."

The D.C. multi-door center has a full-time staff of 25, "but its work could not be accomplished
without the dedicated efforts of several hundred volunteers who serve as mediators, arbitrators,
case evaluators, and dispute resolution specialists." Michael added: "The volunteers are all
individuals from the community who have expressed an interest in what we do. We train those we


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            82
accept. They provide six hours of pro bono work every year. After that, they are eligible to
receive a stipend."

In addition to the Multi-door DR Division of the Court, the DC Bar also offers various family-
related Pro Bono services in the DC Superior Courthouse. These include:

         Pro-Se-Plus Divorce Clinic

         Family Court Self-Help Center Pilot Project
         Family Services Center
         DR ADR Pilot

         Details are provided in Note 1 below.

4     Types of DR services included in the program (mediation, facilitation, arbitration,
      neutral evaluation etc.)

In the Family Mediation Program: mediation is the primary DR tool.

Family Mediation: Two co-mediators facilitate mediation sessions with both parents, and also
with counsel, if counsel are interested and available. Sessions last up to two hours, and multiple
sessions are often held to achieve agreement on all issues. Mediators draft detailed agreements
developed by the parties, which then are reviewed by parties' counsel.

5     Any issue restrictions?

No.

6     Date instituted: 1985. The Family Mediation Program was added in the late 1980’s.

7     Source of authority for program (Legislation, Regulation, Court Rules, Practice
      Directions, Policy, Procedure):

District of Columbia Code.
The District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001 (the “Act”) was enacted into law on January
8, 2002. The Act establishes a Family Court within the Superior Court of the District of
Columbia, with jurisdiction over all cases and proceedings previously under the Family Division
of the Superior Court. The Act also sets forth the policy of “one judge, one family” as the guiding
operational principle of the Family Court (DC Code para. 11 – 1104). These changes were made
to address systemic problems with the handling of child abuse and neglect cases by creating a
specialized court for family cases with only 12 to 15 judges and several magistrates. The Act
requires that Family Court judges have training or expertise in family law and commit for a five-
year term.

Paragraph 11 – 1102 of the District of Columbia Code provides that “To the greatest extent
practicable and safe, cases and proceedings in the Family Court of the Superior Court shall be
resolved through alternative dispute resolution procedures, in accordance with such rules as the
Superior Court may promulgate.”



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             83
8    Who administers the program?

The DC Superior Court; presiding Judge Steffen W. Graae. Division Director: David E. Michael

9    Who provides the service(s) – private / public sector?

The Division’s staff provide training programs for volunteers, scheduling services and program
administration. The neutrals (400+) are all volunteers from the private sector who offer to
provide these services after inhouse training. They are required to mediate three family sessions
per month (1 – 3 hours each) during the first year.

10 Are the services mandatory or voluntary or both?

For those who self-refer the processes are entirely voluntary. For matters in which an action has
been filed in Family Court, the Judge will make a “presumptive referral” at the first status hearing
(the first time the parties appear in Court). This means that it is presumed that DR is appropriate
unless the parties, counsel or the Judge know of some reason why it is not appropriate. In
addition to domestic violence cases, the most common reason is that the parties have already been
using the services of a private mediator and they would like to continue with that process. In
those cases the Judge will not make the referral to the multi-door program.

11 If mandatory, are there any exceptions to the dispute resolution requirements?

See above.

12 Is there a screening process?

Yes, conducted by the DR Specialist at the first intake interview. The Court (and the Program)
are committed to ensuring that the services are safe and appropriate.

13 Who selects the neutral (the program or the parties)?

The Program assigns the neutral.

Mediators are recruited through speaking engagements and by sending announcements to
newspapers, Bar publications, television, radio, community groups and associations.
Applicants are recruited from a wide cross-section of the population and application forms are
made available to all interested individuals throughout the year. Once training dates are
determined for each program, letters are sent to all applicants to determine their availability for
the selection orientation and the training. Applicants expressing interest in more than one
program are notified of the first available
training only. Participation in the selection orientation is not guaranteed to any one applicant.

The pool of applicants from which the Division selects new mediators is quite large, typically
three to four times as many as the number actually selected and trained. Every effort is made to
match a volunteer’s skills with mediator traits.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004             84
In order to identify individuals who possess a mediator-like communication style, the selection
process incorporates various components, including individual interviews with a staff member
and a veteran mediator. The purpose of this selection process is threefold:
1. To assess each candidate’s communication style
2. To give applicants a better understanding of the mediation process
3. To give applicants information about mediation training

Based on the collective information gathered from the individual interviews, a selection
committee, comprised of staff members from various branches of the division, invites the
appropriate number of applicants to be trained. Every effort is made to achieve racial and gender
balance of trainees in each training class. Only candidates who
successfully complete the selection orientation are recommended by the selection committee.

14 What are the required qualifications for the neutral, if any?

There are no formal qualifications for neutrals for the Family Mediation Program. Legal Training
is not required. Multi-Door encourages the widest possible diversity among the volunteers and
welcomes people with a variety of education, professional and personal backgrounds and
experiences. (Service as a mediator or case evaluator in the Civil Dispute Resolution Program
does require bar membership.)

The training begins with classroom lectures and participation is mandatory. Trained mediators
then begin to co-mediate with various veteran mentors who provide feedback after each session.
Following an overall positive evaluation the trainee becomes a probationary mediator for one
year. At the end of the year selected mediators are asked to remain with the program. The
mediator’s performance is observed on a regular basis to maintain quality control.

15 How is the program advertised / promoted?

Advertised on the DC Bar website with an easy to navigate page written for parties:
http://www.dcbar.org/for_the_public/index.cfm

16 How do users access the program (referrals? From whom?)

If they self-refer they contact the Multi-Door program directly and they will be referred to a DR
Specialist.

If they receive a referral from a Judge at a status hearing they will be sent to the Multi-Door
program (in the same building). Until about three months ago the parties were asked to contact
the Program directly to make an appointment for intake and mediation. However, a new
approach (“same day” or “real time” mediation). If they are willing and available, the parties will
be offered an intake interview as well as a first mediation session on the same day as their first
status hearing. This approach avoids multiple trips to the courthouse, a higher level of
participation and saves administrative time. The Program books mediators to be at the
courthouse from 11am to 4pm so they are available as soon as the parties emerge from the
courtroom. They first attend an intake interview with a DR specialist who screens for domestic
violence, family safety issues etc. If the matter is accepted into the Program they are then
referred to a mediator directly.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            85
To assist with this new approach, all parties receive, with the notice of status hearing, a document
explaining the Program and advising that they may be referred that same day for the intake
interview and mediation (if accepted). In addition, the Program is creating a “script” for the
judges to use during the status hearing to explain about mediation (while all judges support the
Program not all are familiar with mediation).

All of the Multi-Door Forms are on the DC Bar website:
http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/courts/superior_court/forms.cfm. The list includes:
         Agreement to Mediate
         Family Mediation Financial Form
         Mediation Survey Forms
         Volunteer mediator application form
         Special Mediation Referral Form

All parties involved in mediation or case evaluation must read and sign the Statement of
Understanding, which clearly defines the neutral’s role and deals with confidentiality:
http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/courts/superior_court/pdf/dcsc54.pdf

17 How is the program funded?

Government funded. Funded completely from the Court budget. The total budget for the Multi-
Door DR Program is approximately $2.5 million per year.

Mr. Michael is not sure he would recommend this model. It is very expensive.

18 Are users charged fees? If so, how much?

No. However, Mr. Michael says that, in his opinion, a small user fee might result in lower “no
show” rates for unrepresented litigants.

19 Are there income level restrictions?

No. The services are available to everyone.

20 Location of the service(s): Court or community?

At the DC Superior Court Courthouse.

21 Does the program require some form of DR or Pre-Action Protocol before commencing
      action? Yes/No (if Yes, include details for Issue 1b or Issue 2)

No.

22 Does the program offer the services to parties in ongoing litigation?

Yes. Parties can voluntarily agree to use the Division’s services during litigation. Alternatively,
the Court can make a “presumptive referral” to the DR processes offered by the Division.

23 How does the program deal with access issues:

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004              86
23.1 Language: Special services are offered in the courthouse to assist the hearing-impaired or
      do not understand or speak the English language.
23.2 Culture: unknown
23.3 Remote Location: DC is quite small – all services are available at the courthouse.
23.4 Etc. Courthouse offers a childcare centre.

24 Has the program been evaluated?

The Family Mediation Program is currently undergoing a detailed evaluation conducted by the
Centre for Policy Research in Denver. They are still in the data collection phase. Mr. Michael
did not know if the report would be published. The only other evaluation of which he was aware
was done many years ago and he didn’t know how to locate a copy.

Note: The Child Protection Mediation program was evaluated in 1999 by the ABA. It is also
being evaluated again now and a report will be issued shortly.

25 If so, what were the issues and how was the evaluation conducted (what
   research tools or methods were used)?

26 What were the results, including:

26.1 Rates of agreement or settlement:
        Family Mediation: The program achieved an overall settlement rate of 39% in 2001, and
        38% in 2000. Approximately 900 mediations were held in each year.
        Mr. Michael confirmed that settlement rates are in the same range for 2002 and 2003.
26.2 User satisfaction with process and outcome
26.3 Saving of time
26.4 Saving of money

27 What were the conclusions or outcomes? (detail the key findings in point form)

28 Levels of Usage: Over 9000 cases each year for the entire Multi-Door program. 350+ per
    year in the Family Mediation Program.

29 Other special features.


Note 1: Pro-Bono Services offered by the DC Bar Association
(http://www.dcbar.org/inside_the_bar/departments/pro_bono_program/about_the_program/serving_the_co
mmunity/divorce.cfm):

        Pro-Se-Plus Divorce Clinic: The Pro-Se-Plus Divorce Clinic is a two-session workshop
        conducted each month at D.C. Superior Court to assist unrepresented litigants in
        obtaining uncontested divorces. Clinics are held during non-business hours, usually on
        two consecutive Saturday mornings or Tuesday evenings. During Session I, volunteer
        instructors teach Clinic participants about the grounds for divorce, basic marital
        property/debt, alimony, child custody and child support issues, filing requirements,

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004            87
       contested versus uncontested divorces, service of process issues, absent defendants, and
       default proceedings. Instructors will also conduct a mock, uncontested divorce hearing.
       During Session II, volunteer instructors assist participants with filling out required forms
       and pleadings and answer individual questions. The clinic is conducted by volunteer
       instructors who have attended a three-hour training session. Volunteers will work in
       teams of three to five instructors led by an experienced family law practitioner to teach
       clinic participants about D.C. divorce law and civil procedure using a curriculum and
       teaching materials developed and provided by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
       Volunteers must be attorneys or paralegals and need not be licensed to practice law.
       Volunteers may sign up to teach the clinic as frequently or infrequently as they wish.



       Family Court Self-Help Center Pilot Project:
       http://www.dot.gov/ost/ogc/PRO%20BONO/prosepilot.htm. The Family Court Self-
       Help Center was launched in November 2002 as a central source of information and on-
       site assistance with family law matters to members of the public who do not have
       attorneys. The center serves litigants appearing before the Domestic Relations and
       Paternity and Support branches of the D.C. Family Court. All pro se litigants before the
       Family Court can receive information and assistance from the center that includes:

           •   Legal information in the form of written materials and brochures;

           •   Access to forms that can be used to file or respond to court actions;

           •   Information about and referrals to legal and community service providers;

           •   Free clinics, training sessions, seminars and workshops; and

           •   Personal, individualized assistance from a volunteer attorney or paralegal.

      The center was created by a group of volunteer attorneys in part as a response to the
      District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001. The Act charged the court with ensuring
      that its materials and services are understandable and accessible to the individuals and
      families it serves. The center is operated by several sponsor organizations in partnership
      with the Family Court and is staffed entirely by volunteers. The center recruits attorneys,
      paralegals, and law students interested in assisting pro se litigants with family law
      problems (an opportunity for volunteers to provide direct pro bono legal services with
      only a limited time commitment). Volunteers work in groups, under the supervision of
      family law experts. No particular expertise is required, but volunteers must attend a three-
      hour training course. Training sessions for individual law firms, government agencies,
      organizations, voluntary bars and D.C. Bar Sections can be specially arranged.
      Volunteers are requested to commit to at least two four-hour shifts per month.
       Family Services Center:
       The Center is comprised of the following agencies under the direction of the Mayor:
       District of Columbia Public Schools, District of Columbia Housing Authority, the Child
       and Family Services Agency, the Office of the Corporation Counsel, the Metropolitan
       Police Department, and the Department of Health. The following Family Court entities
       are also represented: the Family ADR Program, the Juvenile Probation Department
       (Social Services Division) and others as the need arises. The Center is located onsite (at
       the DC Superior Court courthouse) to enhance the coordination and provision of services
       for individuals and families before the Family Court.

Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004           88
       DR ADR Pilot:
       The DC Bar developed a roster of experienced family law lawyers who are
       available to conduct case evaluations for family law cases. At the first status
       hearing the Judge may refer the parties to this service rather than the Multi-door,
       usually on the request of counsel (and usually on matters involving significant
       property issues). Mr. Michael has some concerns about the design of this pilot
       (training and process consistency). However, he agrees that this approach can be
       effective in many cases.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004        89
Part C:



Bibliography by Jurisdiction




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004   90
                                       Bibliography for Jurisdictional Summaries
                                                       July 2004


       Title          Jurisdiction/Publisher                               Overview                                       Found @

England/Wales
Family Law Act       • England/Wales           In April 1994, the then Government published a White Paper            http://www.hmso.gov.
(1996)                                         entitled Looking to the Future – Mediation and the Grounds for        uk/acts/acts1996/199
                                               Divorce. The proposals in the White Paper were largely reflected      6027.htm
                                               in the Family Law Bill. This Bill was introduced on the 16th
                                               November 1995 and received Royal Assent on the 4th July 1996.

                                               Part II of the Act laid out a process for divorce that included
                                               mandatory information meetings for everyone wishing to initiate
                                               divorce proceedings. People were given information on the
                                               various options for the resolution of difficulties, including the
                                               availability of marriage support services, mediation and legal
                                               services.

                                               Part III of the Family Law Act gave the Legal Aid Board the
                                               power to pay for eligible people to attend mediation. Section 29 of
                                               the Act also required those people seeking legal aid for legal
                                               representation in divorce proceedings to attend a meeting with a
                                               mediator to assess the suitability of mediation for their case.

“Second Annual       • England/Wales           Provides recommendations on the way in which Part II of the
Report”              • The Advisory Board on   Family Law Act 1996 should be implemented.
                       Family Law
                     • 1998/99                 Reviews the Part III mediation pilot.
“Information         • England/Wales           Part II of the Family Law Act was tested and evaluated through a      http://www.dca.gov.u



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                          91
Meetings &              • Department of                 series of pilot projects (June 1997 to May 1999). The pilots          k/family/fla/summary
Associated                Constitutional Affairs        included voluntary meetings attended by 7,863 people and the          /flasum.htm
Provisions within the   • Final Evaluation of           posting of 1,468 information packs. This paper sets out the final
Family Law Act            Research Studies              findings and evaluations of the pilots.                               “Key Findings
1996”                     Undertaken by Newcastle                                                                             Document”:
                          Centre for Family Studies     The provisions contained within Part II of the Act were               http://www.dca.gov.u
                          University of Newcastle       subsequently abandoned.                                               k/family/fla/summary
                          upon Tyne                                                                                           /brpaper.pdf
                        • Conducted under the           This document consists of over 1000 pages. Relevant sections are:
                          directorship of Prof. Janet   Section 4, chapters 18, 19, 20, 21 and the “Key Findings
                          Walker                        Document”
                        • September 2000
“Picking Up The         • England/Wales                 This report is a long-term follow-up on people who participated in    http://www.dca.gov.u
Pieces: Marriage and    • Department of                 the evaluation of the Part II Family Law Act information pilot        k/pubs/reports/family
Divorce Two Years         Constitutional Affairs        project (informed the development of the Family Advice and            2004-
After Information       • Research Findings on          Information Service – see below).                                     webpageintro.htm
Provision”                Information Provision in
                          Marriage and Divorce          The study assesses the longer term outcomes in the participant's
                        • Conducted under the           cases and what use they made of the information provided to them.
                          directorship of Prof. Janet
                          Walker of the Centre for      Key section: Chapter 6: The Divorce process
                          Family Studies at the Uni.
                          of Newcastle upon Tyne
                        • March 2004
“Monitoring             • England/Wales                 Part III of the Family Law Act 1996 committed, for the first time,    http://www.legalservi
Publicly Funded         • Legal Service Commission      public money to the support of mediation services. The Act was        ces.gov.uk/old_docs/l
Family Mediation:       • Academic Director:            piloted prior to full implementation, and this three-year study was   sc/pdf/mediation-full-
Report To The Legal       Gwynn Davis                   commissioned by the Legal Services Commission (formerly the           research-report.pdf
Service                 • 2000                          Legal Aid Board) to monitor the mediation component.
Commission”
                                                        Section 29 of the Family Law Act, requiring potential legal aid
                                                        applicants first to explore the mediation option, did lead to a
                                                        significant increase in the number of cases referred to mediation



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                    92
                                                       providers – and, therefore, in the number of mediation ‘intake’
                                                       interviews. However, section 29 has resulted in only a modest
                                                       increase in the number of mediation starts.

“Court-Based ADR       • England/Wales                 This report presents an evaluation of the Commercial Court's          http://www.courtservi
Initiatives for Non-   • Lord Chancellor’s             practice of issuing ADR Orders in selected commercial disputes        ce.gov.uk/cms/media/
Family Civil             Department Research           (practice established in 1993) and a review of the Court of           adr_civ_disp.pdf
Disputes: the            Secretariat                   Appeal's mediation scheme established in 1996.
Commercial Court       • Conducted under the                                                                                 Research Unit
and the Court of         directorship of Prof. Hazel   The report considers the take-up of voluntary schemes as opposed      Lord Chancellor's
Appeal”                  Genn; Faculty of Laws at      to the response to court imposed directions to attempt ADR; the       Department
                         Uni. College London           success rate of ADR; experiences and perceptions of ADR               5th Floor, Selborne
                       • 2002                          processes; and perceptions of the impact of successful and            House
                                                       unsuccessful ADR on costs.                                            54-60 Victoria Street
                                                                                                                             London SW1E 6QW
                                                       The report suggests the need for a more individualised approach       Tel: 020-7210 8520
                                                       by the courts to the direction of cases toward ADR; the               Fax: 020-7210 0695
                                                       development of clearly articulated selection principles and           research@dca.gsi.gov
                                                       consideration of the timing of invitations or directions to attempt   .uk
                                                       ADR.
“Quality Mark          • England/Wales                 This document defines the Mediation Quality Mark (MQM)                http://www.legalservi
Standard for           • The Quality Mark              standard.                                                             ces.gov.uk/qmark/qm
Mediation”               Standard for Mediation                                                                              _standard_for_mediat
                         was launched in December      The Access to Justice Act 1999 introduced the Community Legal         ion_nov02.pdf
                         of 2002.                      Service (CLS) and the Criminal Defence Service (CDS). The
                                                       Quality Mark (QM) is the name given to the quality assurance
                                                       standards underpinning the quality of work undertaken by all
                                                       member organisations of the CLS and CDS. Membership of the
                                                       CLS/CDS is dependent on organisations achieving the quality
                                                       requirements defined by the Quality Mark.

“Legal Service         • England/Wales                 The Legal Services Commission was set up under the Access to          http://www.legalservi
Commissions’           • Legal Service Commission      Justice Act 1999. It is an executive non-departmental public body     ces.gov.uk/about_us/



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                   93
Annual Report                                         reporting to the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA),        annual_report_2002-
2002/2003”                                            formerly the Lord Chancellor’s Department (LCD). The                 03.pdf
                                                      Commission replaced the Legal Aid Board on 1 April 2000. The
                                                      Commission maintains and develops the Community Legal
                                                      Service and the Criminal Defence Service, which in part delivers
                                                      Part II of the Family Law Act 1996.

                                                      See family cases (pp 22 - )

Legal Services           • England/Wales              Commission Website                                                   http://www.legalservi
Commission                                                                                                                 ces.gov.uk/index.htm
                                                      The Legal Services Commission is an executive non-departmental
                                                      public body created under the Access to Justice Act 1999 to
                                                      replace the Legal Aid Board. It is responsible for the development
                                                      and administration of the Community Legal Service, which from
                                                      1st April 2000 replaced the old civil scheme of legal aid (see
                                                      below). The Commission is also responsible for the Criminal
                                                      Defence Service.
Community Legal          • England/Wales              “Justask” Website                                                    http://www.justask.or
Service                  • Legal Services                                                                                  g.uk/index.jsp
                           Commission                 Includes the “Family Mediation” pamphlet
“Family Advice and       • England/Wales              This paper is a (proposed) project review/consultation paper.        http://www.legalservi
Information              • Legal Service Commission                                                                        ces.gov.uk/old_docs/l
Networks                 • July 2001                  On 23rd March 2001 the Lord Chancellor announced plans to pilot      sc/pdf/julyfainconsult
Consultation Paper”                                   Family Advice and Information Networks, as a means of                paper.pdf
(presently referred to                                developing and assessing the support available for those
as FAInS – see                                        experiencing family or relationship difficulties.
below)                                                The Networks will:

                                                      • Provide tailored information to those seeking help and advice.
                                                      • Help to identify issues requiring legal advice and action.
                                                      • Encourage the use of relationship counselling for those who
                                                        want it.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                  94
                                                   • Encourage the use of mediation services where appropriate.
                                                   • Offer support to parents in talking to children.
                                                   • Offer support to children who need it, through referral to expert
                                                     children’s services.

                                                   The pre-pilot scheme was launched in April 2002, in 5 areas of
                                                   England and Wales and has now been extended into a number of
                                                   other regions for the duration of the full pilot.


“Family Advice and    • England/Wales              The Family Advice & Information Service is currently being            http://www.legalservi
Information Service   • Legal Service Commission   supplied by family solicitors, who have undertaken a programme        ces.gov.uk/fains/fains
(FAInS) Leaflet”                                   of Professional Development. These family solicitors are able to      _leaflet_april_03.pdf
                                                   spend time exploring, with the client, the issues to be addressed
                                                   and could include helping a client to access the services of a
                                                   trained counsellor or a debt advisor, or referring a client to
                                                   mediation, for example.
FAInS                 • England/Wales              Website: Aims, Background, Research, Newsletters                      http://www.legalservi
                      • Legal Service Commission                                                                         ces.gov.uk/fains/oper
                                                                                                                         ations.htm#research

Children and Family   • England/Wales              CAFCASS Website                                                       http://www.cafcass.g
Court Advisory and    • A national Non-                                                                                  ov.uk/
Support Service         Departmental Public Body   CAFCASS was set up under the Criminal Justice and Court
(CAFCASS)               for England and Wales      Services Act 2000. The principal functions of the service
                      • Commence operations on     prescribed by the Act are:
                        1 April 2001
                                                   • “To safeguard and promote the welfare of the children before
                                                     courts dealing with family proceedings (Family Reporters, if
                                                     asked by the court, will act as family mediators prior to a
                                                     case being adjudicated).

                                                   • To give advice to any court about any application made to it in



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                              95
                                                   such proceedings.

                                                 • To make provision for the children to be represented in such
                                                   proceedings.

                                                 • To provide information, advice and other support for the
                                                   children and their families.”

                                                 Family Reporters will usually meet with the parents or adults to
                                                 see if issues can be agreed without recourse to the courts. If no
                                                 agreement can be reached the children and family reporter will
                                                 write a report for the court. This report will explain what enquiries
                                                 have been made and what they think is best for the children.

                                                 CAFCASS is independent of the courts, social services, education
                                                 and health authorities and all similar agencies.
“The Children and    • England/Wales             CAFCASS Website                                                         http://www.cafcass.g
Family Reporter”     • CAFCASS                                                                                           ov.uk/English/Public
(CAFCASS)                                                                                                                ations/information/Ch
                                                                                                                         ildFamilyRep.pdf

“CAFCASS Inquiry     • England/Wales             The Society’s submission relates primarily to one of the key            http://www.lawsociet
Submission”          • Law Society               objectives set for CAFCASS:                                             y.org.uk/dcs/fourth_ti
                                                                                                                         er.asp?section_id=68
                                                 • “To represent, safeguard and promote the welfare of children          76&Caller_ID=NS81
                                                   involved in family court proceedings”


“Committee on the    • England/Wales             This report is based on submissions made by a wide variety of           http://www.parliamen
Lord Chancellor’s    • Committee on the Lord     stakeholders.                                                           t.the-stationery-
Department – Third     Chancellor’s Department                                                                           office.co.uk/pa/cm20
Report”              • July 2003                 The decision to inquire into the work of CAFCASS followed               0203/cmselect/cmlcd/
(CAFCASS)                                        widespread concern about the organization’s performance and the         614/61402.htm



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                             96
                                                      committee makes a number of managerial and logistical
                                                      recommendations.
National Family         • England/Wales               NFM Website                                                            http://www.nfm.u-
Mediation (NFM)         • Non-for-Profit Family                                                                              net.com/
                          Mediation Service           NFM is a network of over 60 not-for-profit Family Mediation
                                                      Services in England and Wales offering help to couples, married
                                                      or unmarried who are in the process of separation and divorce.

                                                      • All but one of the NFM Services is a charity in its own right.
                                                        Each has its own premises, dedicated to family mediation.
                                                      • Many of the Services receive partnership grants from the
                                                        Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
                                                        (CAFCASS). All but one of our Services has a contract with the
                                                        Legal Services Commission (LSC) to provide family mediation.
District Judge's        • England/Wales               The conciliation scheme which was in operation in the Principal        http://www.courtservi
Direction: Children-    • Principal Registry of the   Registry of the Family Division was extended starting on the 22nd      ce.gov.uk/cms/10798.
conciliation 12           Family Division             March 2004.                                                            htm
March 2004              • 12 March 2004
                                                      All applications for orders under section 8 of the Children Act
                                                      1989 (residence, contact, specific issue or prohibited steps orders)
                                                      or to vary or discharge such orders will, upon issue, be listed in
                                                      the conciliation list.

                                                      During the conciliation appointment the District Judge is attended
                                                      by an Officer of CAFCASS with a view to the parties reaching a
                                                      negotiated agreement.
“Access to Justice -    • England/Wales               In 1994, Lord Woolf was asked to review the rules and procedures       http://www.dca.gov.u
Interim Report to the   • Lord Chancellor’s           of the civil courts in England and Wales. The aims of the review       k/civil/interim/conten
Lord Chancellor on        Department                  were:                                                                  ts.htm
the Civil Justice       • Lord Woolf, Master of the
System in England         Rolls                       • to improve access to justice and reduce the cost of litigation;
and Wales”              • June 1995
                                                      • to reduce the complexity of the rules and modernise



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                 97
                                                        terminology; and

                                                      • to remove unnecessary distinctions of practice and procedure.

                                                      The interim report set out a blue print for reform based on a
                                                      system where the courts would take greater responsibility for the
                                                      progress of litigation. Cases would be allocated to one of three
                                                      tracks, in accordance with their financial value and complexity.

                                                      The report also proposed a partnership of judicial and
                                                      administrative responsibility for civil justice, and new
                                                      arrangements for civil trial centres and for judicial deployment to
                                                      support effective case-management by the courts.

                                                      The Lord Chancellor welcomed the interim report and made plain
                                                      his commitment to reform.
“Access to Justice” –   • England/Wales               1996 saw the publication of the "Access To Justice Report" AKA         http://www.dca.gov.u
Final Report            • Lord Chancellor's           "The Woolf Report". Recommendations dealt with a variety of            k/civil/final/contents.
                          Department                  topics, including pre-action protocols in specific non-family          htm
                        • Lord Woolf, Master of the   related areas. The objectives of the pre-action protocols are:
                          Rolls
                        • July 1996                   a) to encourage the exchange of early and full information about
                                                      the prospective legal claim

                                                      b) to enable parties to avoid litigation by agreeing a settlement of
                                                      the claim before the commencement of proceedings

                                                      c) to support the efficient management of proceedings where
                                                      litigation cannot be avoided

                                                      In any event the rules state that "the parties should conduct
                                                      genuine and reasonable negotiations with a view to settling the
                                                      claim economically and without court proceedings". The parties
                                                      are encouraged to consider referring the dispute to Alternative



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                  98
                                                   Dispute Resolution.

                                                   The recommendations were implemented in stages, the first one
                                                   being the Civil Procedures Act 1997, and since April 1999 the
                                                   majority of the changes have been in place. A further
                                                   requirement was introduced in early 2003 that even where a
                                                   specific protocol does not apply, the spirit of the protocols
                                                   should still be followed.

“Emerging Findings      • England/Wales            The aim of this paper is to present early findings on the effects of    http://www.dca.gov.u
- An early evaluation   • Department for           the Civil Procedure Rules which were introduced in April 1999,          k/civil/emerge/emerg
of the                    Constitutional Affairs   following Lord Woolf's report on Access to Justice.                     e.htm#part1
Civil Justice             (DCA)
Reforms”                • March 2001               The overall view reported in “Emerging Findings” was that, with a
                                                   few exceptions, the reforms were working well. There were
                                                   specific areas singled out for praise in various surveys, such as the
                                                   change in culture and a reduction in litigation.

“Further Findings -     • England/Wales            This paper presents further findings on the effects of the Civil        http://www.dca.gov.u
A Continuing            • Department for           Justice Reforms which were introduced in April 1999,                    k/civil/reform/ffrefor
Evaluation of the         Constitutional Affairs   implementing many of the recommendations in Lord Woolf's final          m.htm#part1
Civil Justice             (DCA)                    report on Access to Justice.
Reforms”                • August 2002
                                                   In general, the findings that were included in the previous paper
                                                   have been confirmed.

“A Lord                 • England/Wales            This paper proposes the development of a general protocol to be         http://www.dca.gov.u
Chancellor's            • Lord Chancellor’s        used in all disputes where no specific protocol exists, and includes    k/consult/preaction/pr
Department                Department               a draft protocol. The paper sets out nine questions seeking views       eaction.htm
Consultation Paper -    • October 2001             on the concept of a general protocol and comments on the draft.
General Pre-action
Protocol”

“Responses to the       • England/Wales            This paper aims to summarise the responses to the Lord                  http://www.dca.gov.u
Consultation Paper -    • Lord Chancellor’s        Chancellor's Department's consultation paper on a general pre-          k/consult/preaction/pr



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                               99
General Pre-action       Department                  action protocol, issued October 2001.                               eactionresp.htm
Protocol”              • July 2002
                                                     Conclusion: “The diverse requirements of specific types of
                                                     disputes and the absence of any consensus as to how to amend the
                                                     proposed protocol means that it is now believed that any further
                                                     attempts to develop a general protocol would be unlikely to be
                                                     successful.”
“Practice Direction    • England/Wales               These practice directions include “Pre-Action Behavior In Other     http://www.dca.gov.u
– Protocols”           • Department for              Cases,” which provide for pre-action procedures in cases not        k/civil/procrules_fin/
                         Constitutional Affairs      covered by any approved protocol (i.e. family), and contain a       contents/practice_dire
                       • Incorporates the 34th       section on compliance.                                              ctions/pd_protocol.ht
                         update: 29 January 2004                                                                         m

Family Procedure:      • England/Wales               Practice Directions – found in the Family Proceedings
                                                                                                                         Practice Direction:
                       • Lord Chancellor’s                                                                               Ancillary Relief
The “Practice
                                                     (Amendment No.2) Rules 1999.                                        Procedure –
                         Ancillary Relief Advisory
Direction: Ancillary     Committee                   Ancillary Relief: financial order of the Court. May deal with the
Relief Procedure”      • Effective June 5, 2000      sale/transfer of property, maintenance payments, a lump sum
                                                                                                                         http://www.infolaw.c
and accompanying                                                                                                         o.uk/procedure/famil
                                                     payment or a pension sharing or attachment order.
“Pre-Action                                                                                                              y/fpr-pd.htm
Protocol.”                                           The current ‘pilot scheme rules which have applied since
                                                     1996 but only in specified courts, have since June 5 2002,          Pre-Action Protocol –
                                                     become of general application.
                                                                                                                         http://www.infolaw.c
                                                     The “Pre-application Protocol” annexed to this Direction            o.uk/procedure/famil
                                                                                                                         y/fpr-pap.htm
                                                     “outlines the steps parties should take to seek and provide
                                                     information from and to each other prior to the
                                                     commencement of any ancillary relief application. The court
                                                     will expect the parties to comply with the terms of the
                                                     protocol.”




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                100
Australia
“Client Attitudes to   • Australia, Family Court of    This project examined client satisfaction with the counselling     Communications
the Counselling          Australia (FCoA)              process and its outcomes. The questionnaire was developed and      Office
Services of the        • FCoA                          adapted from a Victorian survey conducted in 1992. The             Family Court of
Family Court of        • Jane Gibson, Margaret         information was collected nationally at the end of 1994.           Australia
Australia” (Research     Harrison and Carole                                                                              GPO Box 9991,
Report No.15)            Brown                                                                                            Canberra, 2601
                       • November 1996                                                                                    Fax (02) 6243-8711
“Family Mediation      • Australia/Singapore           A review of Australia and Singapore court family mediation         http://www.familyco
and Conciliation       • Doctor Carole Brown,          systems.                                                           urt.gov.au/papers/htm
Counselling in the       Principal Director of Court                                                                      l/singapore.html
Family Court”            Counselling, Family Court
                         of Australia.
                       • Paper presented to the
                         International Conference
                         on Mediation, Singapore,
                         August, 1997
Integration of         • Australia, FCoA               An overview of the movement of cases through court systems and     http://www.familyco
Dispute Resolution     • FCoA                          the professional management of cases by psychologists and social   urt.gov.au/papers/htm
Services within        • Doctor Carole Brown,          workers in clinical settings. The paper discusses how the Family   l/sanfrancisco.html
Family Courts            Principal Director of Court   Court has been at the forefront of developing a case management
                         Counselling, Family Court     system which has brought together these two types of case
                         of Australia.                 management.
                       • Second World Congress
                         on Family Law and the         Focussing on the role of conciliation counselling and mediation
                         Rights of Children and        services in the management of cases, the paper outlines the
                         Youth                         potential areas of conflict between the two types of case
                       • June 1997                     management and some of the guiding principles underpinning
                                                       each approach.
“Comparison of         • Australia, Family Court of    This study by a researcher and a mediator of the Family Court
Voluntary Clients        Australia                     compared and contrasted the profiles and experiences of clients
and Court-ordered      • FCoA                          who attended Family Court counselling voluntarily with those who



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                 101
Clients Attending       • Carole Brown and Walter       were required to attend as a result of a court order.
the Family Court          Ibbs
Counselling             • November 1997
Services” (Research
Report No.16)
“Diversity in           • Australia, FCoA               This study examines empirical data on the profile of clients who       http://www.familyco
Primary Dispute         • FCoA                          use different PDR services and suggests that future models of          urt.gov.au/papers/htm
Resolution Services:    • Doctor Carole Brown,          service delivery need to match the type of intervention with the       l/diversity.html
What are the choices      Principal Director of Court   clients' needs and their capacity to benefit from the range of
for clients?”             Counselling, Family Court     services available.
                          of Australia.
                        • 1997-98
“Litigants in person    • Australia, FCoA               The report looks at litigants in person's need for, and sources of,    http://www.familyco
in the Family Court     • FCoA                          assistance and advice, and the effects of self-representation on the   urt.gov.au/papers/htm
of Australia”           • John Dewar, Barry W.          court system and the litigants. The report also provides               l/research.html#15
(Research Report          Smith and Cate Banks          recommendations in regards to how the Court should respond to
No.20)                  • 2000                          the needs of litigants in person.
Managing Justice: A     • Australia, Federal Civil      The report listed a number of goals that the Commission                http://www.austlii.ed
Review of the             Justice System                considered were vital to the effectiveness of the federal civil        u.au/au/other/alrc/pub
Federal Civil Justice   • Australian Law Reform         justice system. These included:                                        lications/reports/89/
System                    Commission
                        • 2000                          •   emphasizing dispute avoidance and prevention;
                                                        •   encouraging appropriate, effective and timely settlement;
                                                        •   ensuring cost effective case preparation and case management;
                                                        •   ensuring time effective and cost effective hearings; and
                                                        •   preventing excessive legal fees.

                                                        The report made a number of recommendations specifically for the
                                                        Family Court of Australia aimed at improving practices,
                                                        procedures and case management.
“Future Directions      • Australia                     This report contains a number of proposals and describes the           http://www.familyco
Report” - Future        • Family Court of Australia     progress of several initiatives (i.e. pilots). The report suggests a   urt.gov.au/court/pdf/f



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                   102
Directions             • Future Directions             new case management system and outlines administrative                 uture.pdf
Committee Report         Committee                     measures that will support that system.
                       • July 2000
                                                       Discussed:

                                                       • Case Assessment Conference – the first step in the alternative
                                                         dispute resolution process that precedes the final hearing.
                                                       • Pre-Trial Conference – disclosure, joint case outline, issues of
                                                         admissibility of evidence, attempt at settlement.
                                                       • Expedition of Cases
                                                       • Caseflow Teams – continuity of management of cases.
                                                       • Short form family Reports – pilot project that has a number of
                                                         registries utilizing the process of a family Report to assist
                                                         families to resolve disagreements without proceeding to a final
                                                         hearing.


Federal Magistrates    • Australia, FMC                FMC Website                                                            www.fmc.gov.au
Court of Australia
(FMC)                                                  FMC was established by the Commonwealth Parliament at the end
                                                       of 1999. It conducted its first sittings on 3 July 2000. The
                                                       objective of the Court is to provide a simpler and more accessible
                                                       alternative to litigation in the superior courts (Family and Federal
                                                       Courts of Australia) and to relieve the workload of those courts.

                                                       Approximately 80% of the court's workload is in the area of
                                                       family law.
“Federal Magistrates   • Australia, FMC                This paper examines that FMC jurisdiction which is relevant to the     http://www.familyco
Service:               • Family Court of Australia     Family Court and the ramifications of legislative overlap.             urt.gov.au/papers/htm
Implications for the   • Angela Filippello,                                                                                   l/fms.html
Family Court”            Principal Registrar, Family
                         Court of Australia
                       • 22 July 2000


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                  103
“The Family Court      • Australia, FCoA               An overview of the Family Court and recent developments,              http://www.familyco
of Australia:          • FCoA                          including an overview of:                                             urt.gov.au/court/pdf/p
Pathways for           • September 2000                                                                                      athways.pdf#xml=htt
Families in Dispute                                        •   the operations of the FMC;                                    p://familycourt.gov.a
After Separation”                                          •   FCoA counselling, mediation and conciliation services;        u.master.com/texis/m
                                                           •   Provision of primary dispute resolution (PDR) services        aster/search/mysite.tx
                                                               outside the FCoA; and,                                        t?q=project+magellan
                                                           •   The current delivery models for PDR (i.e. the Magellan        &order=r&id=68101
                                                               Project).                                                     0682c2c3e15&cmd=
                                                                                                                             xml

“The Family Law        • Australia, FCoA and FMC       The Government responded to calls for reform of the Family Law        http://www.familyco
Act 1995 : The First   • University of Sidney and      Act 1975 by shifting the focus of the family law system from          urt.gov.au/papers/htm
Three Years”             Family Court of Australia     litigation to non-adversarial dispute resolution processes. The       l/fla1contents.html
                       • Principle researcher: Helen   Family Law Reform Act 1995 (the 1995 Act) reflected this shift,
                         Rhoades, Faculty of Law,      and came into force in 1996.
                         University of Melbourne
                       • December 2000                 The Act of 1995 made a number of significant changes to the law
                                                       relating to children. These include underlying principles that
                                                       outline the paramountcy of joint care (parents sharing duties and
                                                       responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and development of
                                                       their children) and the child’s right to contact with both parents.

                                                       This is a report of research undertaken into the operation of the
                                                       1995 Act from the time it came into effect in June 1996 to the end
                                                       of 1999. Interviews with, and surveys of, lawyers and counsellors
                                                       suggest that there have been no real changes in the practice of
                                                       childcare post separation as a result of the reforms.
“Summary of ADR        • Australia                     Brief summary in table format.                                        http://www.lawcounc
Procedures in          • Law Council of Australia                                                                            il.asn.au/policy/1957
Australian Courts,     • January 2001                                                                                        353121
Tribunals, &
Commissions”



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                  104
“Resolving Family      • Australia, FCoA         The research aimed to document and evaluate Project Magellan,          http://www.familyco
Violence to            • Monash University       introduced to the Family Court of Australia as a pilot project         urt.gov.au/papers/pdf/
Children”              • Family Violence And     seeking better ways of managing residence and contact disputes         magellan.pdf
                         Family Court Research   involving child abuse allegations in the Family Court of Australia.
                         Program
                       • 2001

“Case Conferences      • Australia, FCoA         Cases involving financial issues are set down for a case conference    http://www.familyco
in the Family Court:   • FCoA                    before a Deputy Registrar of the Court whilst cases involving only     urt.gov.au/papers/htm
A summary guide        • A M Sikiotis, Deputy    child issues are set down before a Counsellor of the Court. Cases      l/sikiotis.html
for lawyers”             Registrar (Dandenong)   involving both financial and child issues are run jointly before a
                       • 26 April 2001           Deputy Registrar and a Counsellor.

                                                 Appointments are listed within 8-10 weeks of the filing of an
                                                 application seeking final orders in either property, child issues or
                                                 both. The case conference is in lieu of, and replaces, the two
                                                 existing Court attendances – the pre- directions privileged
                                                 counselling appointment and the first directions hearing date.

                                                 The objectives of the Case Conference include:

                                                 • identifying those issues which are issues for parties;

                                                 • having the parties and their lawyers to address the issues with
                                                   the assistance of appropriate primary dispute resolution staff of
                                                   the Court;

                                                 • involving the parties and their lawyers in an early assessment of
                                                   the issues and to facilitate negotiations; and,

                                                 • reducing the number of Court events and attendances by parties
                                                   and their lawyers at the Court.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                            105
“Summary of ADR        • Australia                  Brief summary in table format.                                      http://www.lawcounc
Bodies in Australia”   • Law Council of Australia                                                                       il.asn.au/committees.
                       • June 2001                                                                                      html

“Family Court of       • Australia, FCoA            Brief information sheet on FCoA mediation (children’s issues).      http://www.familyla
Australia – Dispute    • Attorney General’s                                                                             w.gov.au/accesspoint
Services”                Department                 Under the Family Law System heading.                                ?action=executeQuer
                       • Post July 2001                                                                                 y&id=104&breadcru
                                                                                                                        mbs=103^104&curre
                                                                                                                        ntId=103

“Federal Magistrates   • Australia                  Brief information sheet on FMC services.                            http://www.familyla
Court” (FMC)           • Attorney General’s                                                                             w.gov.au/accesspoint
                         Department                 Under the Family Law System heading.                                ?action=executeQuer
                                                                                                                        y&id=104&breadcru
                                                                                                                        mbs=103^104&curre
                                                                                                                        ntId=103
“Out of the Maze:      • Australia, FCoA and FMC    In May 2000, the Government established the Family Law              http://www.ag.gov.au
Pathways to the        • Attorney-General’s         Pathways Advisory Group to advise it on how to achieve an           /www/familylawHom
Future for Families      Department and the         integrated family law system that would achieve the best possible   e.nsf/Web+Pages/42
Experiencing             Department of Family and   outcomes for families. The advisory group considered the family     C639B967A96E50C
Separation”              Community Services         law system as a whole—encompassing both the courts and the          A256C2100183DEB?
                       • Family Law Pathways        many service providers and individuals who help families to         OpenDocument
                         Advisory Group             resolve legal, financial and emotional problems in the case of
                       • August 2001                family breakdown.

                                                    The report identified a number of examples of better practice and
                                                    found that there was too much unnecessary litigation and
                                                    adversarial behaviour, and that the public and private costs
                                                    involved were too high. The report noted that, in particular, the
                                                    FCoA and the FMC should verify that the community-based PDR
                                                    services being put in place are coordinated and modelled as a


Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                              106
                                                      shared service to achieve a common purpose, common standards
                                                      and common outcomes.
“Resolving property    • Australia, FCoA              The paper focuses on recent issues and developments in relation to    http://www.familyco
disputes - An Anglo-   • The Honourable Alastair      the determination of property disputes.                               urt.gov.au/papers/htm
Australian contrast”     Nicholson, AO RFD,                                                                                 l/anglo.html
                         Chief Justice, Family
                         Court of Australia
                         co-authored with Miss
                         Rebecca Wood Barrister,
                         for The Family Law
                         Practitioners' Association
                         of Western Australia at
                         Perth Zoo Conference
                         Centre South Perth
                       • 16 November 2002
Published Statistics   • Australia                    The compendium was first compiled in May 2002 and included            http://www.nadrac.go
on Alternative         • National Alternative         statistics contained in the annual reports of organizations for the   v.au/www/disputeres
Dispute Resolution       Dispute Resolution           1998-1999, 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 financial years. The               olutionHome.nsf/Hea
in Australia             Council (NADRAC)             compendium has since been updated to include 2001-                    dingPagesDisplay/Re
                       • 2003                         2002 statistics provided to NADRAC by the relevant                    search?OpenDocume
                                                      organizations.                                                        nt

“Review of the         • Australia, FMC               A review of the FMC was conducted from 1 July 2000 to 30 June
Federal Magistrates    • Working group comprising     2002.
Court” (FMC)             officers of the Attorney-
                         General’s Department, the    The review examined matters such as the jurisdiction of the FMC
                         Department of the Prime      and the arrangements that had been made for the provision of
                         Minister and Cabinet, and    registry and related services. A copy of the report was provided to
                         the Department of Finance    the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee in
                         and Administration.          December 2003.
                       • 2003
“The Government        • Australia, FCoA and FMC      The Government supported the “Pathways” Advisory Group’s              http://law.gov.au/ww
Response to the        • Attorney-General’s           recommendations in its May 2003 response to the “Out of the           w/budgethome.nsf/H



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                 107
Family Law              Department and the          Maze: Pathways to the future for families experiencing                eadingPagesDisplay/
Pathways Advisory       Department of Family and    separation,” report.                                                  Family+Law+Pathwa
Group”                  Community Services                                                                                ys?OpenDocument
                      • 2003                        As a result, the Government decided to maintain the Family Law
                                                    Pathways Taskforce to coordinate implementation of Pathways
                                                    initiatives. The Taskforce is chaired jointly by the Attorney-
                                                    General’s Department and the Department of Family and
                                                    Community Services.
“Standing             • Australia                   The submission is intended to explain the Family Law Act 1975         http://www.familyco
Committee On          • Family Court of Australia   and the operations of the Family Court of Australia as they relate    urt.gov.au/court/pdf/ii
Family and            • Standing Committee on       to the children of disputing parents.                                 jca.pdf
Community Affairs       Family and Community
Inquiry Into Joint      Affairs                     Explains the major provisions of the current law including the
Custody               • 14 October 2003             changes wrought by the 1995 Family Law Reform Act and
Arrangements In the                                 explains how the Court operates in relation to
Event of Family                                     conciliation/adjudication of parenting disputes.
Separation”
                                                    The submission includes:

                                                     • A good overview of the case management system;
                                                     • A review of the features promoting co-operative parenting post
                                                       family breakdown; and,
                                                     • The perspective of court mediatiors.
“Client Service in    • Australia, FCoA and FMC     Performance Audit                                                     http://www.anao.gov.
the Family Court of   • Auditor General                                                                                   au/WebSite.nsf/0/783
Australia             • 2003                        The audit focused on the administration of family law by the          A37342A27FA85CA
and the Federal                                     FCoA and the FMC. The primary objective of this audit was to          256E9A00122227?O
Magistrates Court”                                  examine and report on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness       penDocument
                                                    of the courts’ client service arrangements. The audit also assessed
                                                    the effectiveness of the coordination between the two courts, and
                                                    of their administration of PDR services. A particular focus was
                                                    services provided to regional and rural Australians, and to clients
                                                    who are culturally and linguistically diverse.



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                               108
“Court Referral to     • Australia                    Provides a thorough analysis of existing research, examining           http://www.nadrac.go
ADR: Criteria and      • Australian Institute of      criteria or factors on which courts and tribunals do and could base    v.au/www/disputeres
Research”                Judicial Administration      decisions to refer a dispute to ADR.                                   olutionHome.nsf/Hea
                         (AIJA) and the National                                                                             dingPagesDisplay/Cri
                         Alternative Dispute          Brief review of Australian Court-connected ADR programs.               teria?OpenDocument
                         Resolution Advisory
                         Council (NADRAC)
                       • Associate Professor Kathy
                         Mack of Flinders
                         University Law School
                       • 5 March 2004
Family Court of        • Australia                    The Court’s case management system is made up of the Family            http://www.familyco
Australia – Case       • Family Court of Australia    Law Rules, Case Management Directions and procedural orders            urt.gov.au/cmd/cmd0
Management             • Came into effect on the 29   made in particular cases.                                              1.pdf
Directions: Practice     of March 2004
Direction 3 of 2004                                   The Family Court has a three-phase approach to case
                                                      management:

                                                      • Phase one – Pre Filing
                                                      • Phase two – Resolution
                                                      • Phase three – Determination

                                                      The Family Law Rules prescribe pre-action procedures that
                                                      parties must generally undertake before filing an application in the
                                                      Family Court.

                                                      The pre-filing phase covers the period before litigation is
                                                      commenced and the services provided outside the context of legal
                                                      proceedings, including community education, relationship
                                                      counselling, separation counseling and mediation. In most cases,
                                                      parties must undertake pre-action procedures such as alternative
                                                      dispute resolution, exchange of information and offers of



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                 109
                                                     settlement before filing an application in the Family Court1.

                                                     The resolution phase covers the period from the commencement
                                                     of proceedings to the point at which it is decided that a matter
                                                     should be prepared for trial. A matter may be held in the resolution
                                                     phase until all reasonable settlement options have been fully
                                                     explored.


Family Law Rules     • Australia, Family Court of    Under these rules parties and their lawyers are required to make a      http://www.familyco
2004                   Australia and Family          genuine attempt to resolve matters before starting hearings. If they urt.gov.au/rules2004.
                       Court of Western Australia    fail to do so they may be liable to pay the costs of the other parties. pdf
                     • The Rules commenced on
                       29 March 2004


New Zealand
Family Court         • NZ                            Pamphlet discussing the basics of Family Court sponsored               http://www.courts.go
Pamphlet:            • The Department for Courts     counseling.                                                            vt.nz/family/brochure
“Counselling”        • Family Court of NZ                                                                                   s/counselling.pdf
                                                     Counselling sessions provide an opportunity to seek reconciliation,
                                                     or discuss options for the future (after separation or divorce),
                                                     including care of the children.

Family Court         • NZ                            Information on Family Court mediation conferencing.                    http://www.courts.go
Pamphlet: “The       • The Department for Courts                                                                            vt.nz/family/brochure
Mediation            • Family Court of NZ                                                                                   s/mediation.pdf
Conference
“Handbook for        •   NZ                          Contains a broad overview of the court system, the logistics of        http://www.courts.go
Family Court         •   The Department for Courts   being a court counselor, and the legislative framework governing       vt.nz/pubs/courts/fcc.
Counsellors”         •   Family Court of NZ          the counseling referral process.                                       pdf
“Court Dispute       •   NZ                          Describes the Family Court’s background and history, its social        http://www.lawcom.g
Resolution” (NZLC    •   New Zealand Law             context, how it operates and who is involved. The paper also set       ovt.nz/



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                110
Preliminary Paper          Commission               out what the Law Commission sees as the main problems in
47)                      • 2002                     service delivery.

“Dispute Resolution      • NZ                       The Law Commission received 126 submissions after publishing        http://www.lawcom.g
in the Family Court”     • New Zealand Law          the preliminary paper (PP 47) from individual Family Court          ovt.nz/
(NZLC Report 82)           Commission               clients, and from representatives of most professionals who work
                         • 2003                     there. The LC also consulted further with community client groups
                                                    and professionals who work in the Court.

                                                    The Government’s terms of reference were that the Law
                                                    Commission consider what changes, if any, are necessary and
                                                    desirable in Family Court administration, management, and
                                                    procedure to resolve disputes early.
“Government              • NZ                       The Government’s response (including a review of recently           http://www.courts.go
Response to the Law      • Ministry of Justice      implemented programs) to the NZLC Report 82.                        vt.nz/family/govtresp
Commission Report                                                                                                       onselawcom.doc
on Dispute
Resolution in the
Family Court”
“Women's Access to       • NZ                       The study focuses on the problems that women have in getting        http://www.lawcom.g
Legal Services”          • Law Commission           access to legal services and why the legal system does not          ovt.nz/
(NZLC Study Paper        • March 1999               accommodate them as it should. It suggests some possible
1)                                                  solutions to improve women’s access to justice.
“It’s my party and       • NZ                       This is a brief paper dealing with problematic access cases and     http://www.courts.go
I'll go if I want to.”   • Paper presented to the   contains the personal views of Judge Blaikie, a Family Court        vt.nz/family/Blaikie.h
                           Triennial New Zealand    Judge with 16 years' experience. The main focus is the various      tml
                           Law Society Conference   mediation techniques for such difficult cases.
                           and 4th New Zealand
                           Family Law Conference,
                           Christchurch
                         • Judge E O K Blaikie
                         • October 2001




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                               111
“Characteristics       • NZ                        The Department for Courts commissioned this research to                New Zealand
associated with the    • Department for Courts     investigate whether complex Family Court custody cases can be          Ministry of Justice –
early identification   • Research and Evaluation   identified early through particular characteristics or criteria.       copy provided.
of complex Family        Section                   The research, which was qualitative in design, gathered data
Court custody cases”   • September 2003            through interviews and group discussions with individuals.
“A Statistical View    • NZ                        The purpose of this report is to provide some statistics about cases   New Zealand
of Guardianship        • Department of Courts      brought under the Guardianship Act 1968, and the judicially            Ministry of Justice –
Cases”                 • Research and Evaluation   ordered costs and hearings arising from these cases. This work         copy provided.
                         Section                   provides numbers in regards to how may cases settle at what stage
                       • September 2003            of the dispute resolution process: counseling, mediation, hearing.




Singapore
“Alternative Dispute   • Singapore                 Discusses court ADR in Singapore, the Primary Dispute
Resolution in          • Primary Dispute           Resolution Centre and the Multi-Door Courthouse.
Singapore”               Resolution Centre,
                         Subordinate Courts
                       • Judge Liew Thiam Leng
Family Court of        • Singapore                 Outlines mediation and counseling programs.                            http://www.familyco
Singapore Website      • Family Court                                                                                     urtofsingapore.gov.sg
                                                                                                                          /index.htm
“Counseling and        • Singapore                 Counseling pamphlet.                                                   http://www.familyco
You”                   • Family Court Website                                                                             urtofsingapore.gov.sg
                                                                                                                          /processes/pamphlets/
                                                                                                                          counselling_n_u.htm
“Mediation and         • Singapore                 Mediation pamphlet.                                                    http://www.familyco
You”                   • Family Court Website                                                                             urtofsingapore.gov.sg
                                                                                                                          /processes/pamphlets/
                                                                                                                          MEDIATION%20A
                                                                                                                          ND%20YOU.pdf




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                              112
“Justice 21 @ the      • Singapore                  Review of the Family Court, its growth since its inception in 1995     http://www.familyco
Family Court: The      • Presented by Daphne        and its current programs.                                              urtofsingapore.gov.sg
Role of the Court in     Hong, District Judge,                                                                             /philosophy/paper_01
Protecting Family        Family Justice Division,                                                                          .htm#q54
Obligations in the       Singapore, for the
New Millennium”          Association of Family &
                         Conciliation Courts
                         Conference, Vancouver,
                         Canada,
                       • June 1999
“Case Management       • Singapore                  The paper introduces the Family Court of Singapore and the goals       http://www.familyco
and Trial              • Presented by District      of case management and trial management and how the Singapore          urtofsingapore.gov.sg
Management:              Judge Koh Juat Jong,       Family Court has sought to achieve those goals.                        /philosophy/paper_03
Citizenship of the       Family Justice Division,                                                                          .htm
Family Justice           Singapore, for the
Processes”               Australasian Family
                         Courts Conference,
                         Auckland, New Zealand
                       • October 1999
Women's Charter        • Singapore                  These Rules compel parents to file joint or separate parenting         http://www.familyco
(Parenting Plan)       • May 1997                   plans together with their divorce petitions. A parenting plan is a     urtofsingapore.gov.sg
Rules (Chapter 353,                                 document that sets out the arrangements which are to be made for       /principles/rules_pare
Section 139)                                        the care of the children upon the dissolution of a marriage. The       nting.htm
                                                    rationale of these Rules is to emphasize and reinforce a parent's
                                                    responsibility to make adequate provisions for their children in the
                                                    event of a marital breakdown.
Women's Charter        • Singapore                  These Rules compel the parties to obtain all relevant information      http://www.familyco
(Matrimonial           • December 1998              on their matrimonial home from the relevant authorities, before        urtofsingapore.gov.sg
Property Plan) Rules                                filing a divorce petition. Parties will also be required to present    /principles/rules_Mat
(Chapter 353,                                       their agreed or proposed plans on how the matrimonial assets           _Property.htm
Section 139)                                        should be divided upon divorce.




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                               113
“Why do I have to      • Singapore                  An information pamphlet for adults on the counselling services         http://www.familyco
see a counsellor?”     • Family Court Website       available at the Family Conciliation and Resolution Centre             urtofsingapore.gov.sg
                                                    (“FAMCARE”).                                                           /processes/pamphlets/
                                                                                                                           WHY%20DO%20I%
                                                                                                                           20HAVE%20TO%20
                                                                                                                           SEE%20A%20COU
                                                                                                                           NSELLOR.pdf
Subordinate Courts     • Singapore                  The Subordinate Courts are constituted by the Subordinate Courts       http://www.subcourts
of Singapore                                        Act, and comprise the District Courts, the Magistrates' Courts, the    .gov.sg/faq_MDC.ht
Website                                             Coroners' Court, the Juvenile Court and the Small Claims               m
                                                    Tribunals. Certain District Courts and Magistrates' Courts are
                                                    designed as specialised courts such as the Family Court. The e@dr
                                                    Centre, and the Multi Door Courthouse (MDC) are also part of the
                                                    Subordinate Courts.


California
Centre for Families,   • California                 The Center for Families, Children & the Courts is involved with        http://www.courtinfo.
Children and the       • Division of the Judicial   many projects related to family, juvenile, child support, custody,     ca.gov/programs/cfcc
Courts Website           Council's Administrative   visitation, and domestic violence law and procedure. Projects          /
                         Office of the Courts       include developing rules, forms, and standards; providing training,
                         (AOC).                     education, and grants; and coordinating research and statistical
                                                    analysis. The website contains a number of reports in regards to
                                                    children, youth, and families in the California court system and the
                                                    programs that cater to them.
“Client Feedback in    • California                 Since 1991, California’s Administrative Office of the Courts has       http://www.courtinfo.
California Court-      • Centre for Families,       been collecting detailed information from both parents and             ca.gov/programs/cfcc
Based Child              Children and the Courts    mediators involved in court-based child custody mediation              /pdffiles/Clientfdbk.p
Custody Mediation”     • 1999                       through the Statewide Uniform Statistical Reporting System             df
                                                    (SUSRS). This component of SUSRS is the Parent Viewpoint, a
                                                    1999 survey of parents regarding their experiences in court-based



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                               114
                                                     child custody mediation.

                                                     For the 1999 SUSRS Client Baseline Study, data were collected
                                                     on 2,812 mediation sessions, representing 80 percent of the
                                                     sessions conducted in California during the two week study period
                                                     (September 27 through October 8, 1999).
Superior Court of     • Sacramento, California       Includes information on court provided family mediation services       http://www.saccourt.c
California – County                                  (mandatory child custody mediation).                                   om/
of Sacramento
Website
California Family     • California                   Requires mediation whenever issues of custody or visitation are in     http://www.divorceso
Code, Chapter 11      • California Law consists of   dispute. This applies whenever a party to the case wants to obtain     urce.com/CA/CODE/
(Mediation of           among other things -29       or change a custody or visitation order and the other party does not   division5_9.shtml#5
Custody and             codes.                       agree to the change.
Visitation Issues):
sections 3160-3165;
3170-3173; 3175-
3186
California Rules of   • California                   Under Chapter 5 (Child Custody) this rule defines the mediation        http://www.courtinfo.
Court 5.210                                          process for court-connected child custody mediation                    ca.gov/rules/titlefive/t
                                                                                                                            itle5-1-
                                                                                                                            282.htm#TopOfPage

California Rules of   • California                   Under Chapter 5, this rule describes the Domestic Violence             http://www.courtinfo.
Court – 5.215                                        Protocol for Family Court Services (includes details for intake and    ca.gov/rules/titlefive/t
                                                     screening).                                                            itle5-1-
                                                                                                                            283.htm#TopOfPage

Superior court of     • California, County of        Local Rules for the Superior Court of California, County of            http://www.saccourt.c
California, County      Sacramento                   Sacramento. Chapter 14 deals with “Family Law”. Section 14.08          om/geninfo/local_rul
of Sacramento Local                                  sets out the mandatory mediation/evaluation and the various            es/PDFChapters/local
Rules 14.08                                          processes for referral.                                                %20rules-
                                                                                                                            complete%20704.PD



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                115
                                                                                                                              F
                                                                                                                              (effective July 1,
                                                                                                                              2004)
“Report 6: Future       • California                   Based on statewide representative data from the Uniform                http://www.courtinfo.
Directions for          • Administrative Office of     Statistical Reporting System, this study documents the volume,         ca.gov/programs/cfcc
Mandatory Child-          the Courts                   complexity, and diversity of cases entering family courts and          /pdffiles/r06rpt.pdf
Custody Mediation       • Statewide Office of Family   identifies the need for competencies in several key areas of
Services:                 Court Services               providing mediation services.
Considerations From     • February 1996
Two Studies of
Court Users”
“Serving Families in    • California                   Results of the 1996 Court Professionals Survey of all California       http://www.courtinfo.
the '90s: The           • Administrative Office of     family court services providers, examining the quality of services.    ca.gov/programs/cfcc
Perspective of Direct     the Courts                                                                                          /pdffiles/report7.pdf
Service Providers in    • Statewide Office of Family
California Family         Court Services
Court Services”         • June 1997
“Report 12:             • California                   This report presents information from the Statewide Uniform            http://www.courtinfo.
Preparing Court-        • Center for Families,         Statistical Reporting System of the CFCC. This system includes         ca.gov/programs/cfcc
Based Child Custody       Children & the Courts,       periodic statewide data collections that track cases as they enter     /pdffiles/report12.pdf
Mediation Services        Judicial Council of          court-based mediation, the initial step in the court’s child custody
for the Future”           California, Administrative   determination process. It compares findings from the 1996 Client
September 2000            office of the Courts         Baseline Study to results form the 1991 Client Baseline Study and
                                                       the 1993 similar study.
“Survey of              • California                   Results of a survey directed to all of California’s courts dealing     http://www.courtinfo.
Proceedings             • Judicial Council of          with children and family issues.                                       ca.gov/programs/cfcc
Involving Children        California                                                                                          /pdffiles/coordreport.
and Families” 2001                                                                                                            pdf

California Courts       • California                   Excellent website available to users.                                  http://www.courtinfo.
Self-help center                                                                                                              ca.gov/selfhelp/famil
website                                                                                                                       y/custody/intro.htm




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                                  116
                      •
Texas – Harris County
Website for Harris    •   Texas                                                                                          http://www.justex.net
County District       •   State District Courts                                                                          /
Court                 •   Harris County, Texas
Texas Family Code     •   Texas                   The Family Code governs family matters in Texas. It includes           http://www.capitol.st
                                                  many references to dispute resolution processes including 6.505        ate.tx.us/statutes/fa.to
                                                  (referral by judge to reconciliation counseling); 6.602 (referral to   c.htm
                                                  mediation); 153.071 (referral by agreement to binding or non-
                                                  binding arbitration or to mediation).
                                                  In addition, new sections were added in 2001 to “institutionalize”
                                                  the collaborative law process for actions for dissolution of
                                                  marriage or involving parent-child relationships (6.603 and
                                                  153.0072).
District Court,        • Texas                    The local Family Division Rules for Harris County give                 http://www.yob.com/l
Harris County, Local   • Harris County            preference in the setting of hearings and trials to parties who have   ocalrules.html
Rules, Family Trial                               participated in ADR (sections 3.2.2 and 3.7.3). Rule 7 deals with
Division                                          ADR and provides mandatory mediation for child custody matters
                                                  and presumptively mandatory mediation for all matters (i.e. except
                                                  for good cause shown).
Texas Civil Practice   • Texas                    Chapter 152 sets out the policy of Texas to encourage the              http://www.capitol.st
and Remedies Code                                 peaceable resolution of disputes, with special consideration given     ate.tx.us/statutes/cp.t
                                                  to disputes involving the parent-child relationship…”                  oc.htm

Dallas Alliance of     • Texas                    Webpage of a Dallas group of collaborative family law lawyers.         http://www.dallascoll
Collaborative          • Dallas                                                                                          aborativelaw.com/
Family Lawyers
Dallas Dispute         • Texas                    The Dallas DRC is one of 17 Dispute Resolution Centers in Texas        http://www.dms-
Mediation Service,     • Dallas                   administered at the county level and funded by a $10 filing fee.       adr.org/
Inc.
State Bar of Texas –   • Texas                    A good source of helpful information relating to dispute resolution    http://www.texasadr.
ADR Section -                                     in Texas (not limited to family matters, however).                     org/index.cfm
website



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                             117
Texas Association of   • Texas                                                                               http://www.txmediato
Mediators Website                                                                                            r.org/

South Plains           • Texas           A summary of the South Plains ADR System that serves six            http://www.co.lubboc
Alternative Dispute    • South Plains    counties. It has recently become a department of Lubbock County     k.tx.us/drc/PDF/Over
Resolution System                        and is funded from non-county tax dollars.                          view%20of%20the%
                                                                                                             20South%20Plains%
                                                                                                             20Alter.PDF

                       •
Washington DC
District of Columbia   • Washington DC   The website for the Superior Court is maintained by the DC Bar      http://www.dcbar.org
Superior Court                           Association.                                                        /for_lawyers/courts/s
website                                                                                                      uperior_court/index.c
                                                                                                             fm

Multi-door Dispute     • Washington DC   This webpage describes the multi-door dispute resolution division   http://www.dcbar.org
Resolution Division                      of the Superior Court                                               /for_lawyers/courts/s
webpage                                                                                                      uperior_court/multi_d
                                                                                                             oor_dispute_resolutio
                                                                                                             n_division/index.cfm

Family Court –         • Washington DC   This webpage describes the Family Court.                            http://www.dcbar.org
Superior Court                                                                                               /for_lawyers/courts/s
webpage                                                                                                      uperior_court/family_
                                                                                                             court/index.cfm

District of Columbia   • Washington DC                                                                       http://dccode.westgro
Code                                                                                                         up.com/home/dccode
                                                                                                             s/default.wl

District of Columbia   • Washington DC   Establishes the Family Court within the Superior Court with         http://www.dcwatch.c
Family Court Act of                      jurisdiction over all cases and proceedings previously under the    om/courts/010921.ht



Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                    118
2001                                             Family Division of the Superior Court.                               m

“Selection, Training   • Washington DC           A document describing the system used for the selection, training    http://www.dcbar.org
and Performance        • Superior Court of DC,   and performance evaluation of volunteer mediators.                   /for_lawyers/courts/s
Evaluation of Small      Multi-Door Dispute                                                                           uperior_court/pdf/dcs
Claims and Family        Resolution Division                                                                          c118.pdf
Mediators”
“Proposed FY 2003      • Washington DC           A report describing the Family Court and the multi-agency efforts    http://dmcyf.dc.gov/s
Performance Plan”      • Office of the Deputy    to improve coordination of services offered by various agencies      ervices/safe_passages
                         Mayor for Children,     and government.                                                      /family_court_liaison
                         Youth, Families and                                                                          .shtm
                         Elders, October 2002
Family Court Self-     • Washington DC           A DC Bar initiative to provide a central source of information and   http://www.dot.gov/o
Help Center Pilot                                on-site assistance with family law matters to members of the         st/ogc/PRO%20BON
Project webpage                                  public who are unrepresented.                                        O/prosepilot.htm




Jurisdictional Summary July 11, 2004                            119