M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Gerhard Raedeke
RE: Alternative Dispute Resolution
At the last meeting, the Committee considered rule amendments from the Joint Dispute Resolution Study Committee to promote and facilitate the use of ADR processes. The Committee rejected the amendments implementing intensive case management techniques as a means of encouraging ADR processes. The Committee thought additional case management is not needed in most cases and unnecessary work and procedural hoops would be created. The Committee did not think case management procedures should be adopted as a method of promoting ADR.
The Committee did, however, seem agreeable to amending N.D.R.Civ.P. 16(a) to provide for discussion at a pretrial conference of the desirability of using an alternative dispute resolution process. The Committee also thought a roster of ADR providers would be helpful for making ADR processes more available.
The Committee rejected the proposed roster from the Joint Dispute Resolution Study Committee. The Committee thought the roster was overly technical and too compartmentalized for North Dakota's needs. Instead, the Committee discussed proposing a simplified roster as a way of making ADR providers more accessible.
The Committee thought a roster of ADR providers should be maintained by a central authority and be available upon request from the district clerk of courts. The Committee also thought the roster should be kept simple and suggested only three categories of ADR providers are needed: one for civil arbitrators, one for civil mediators, and one for family law mediators. Upon further reflection, the Committee also thought the roster should include the AR 28 list of qualified mediators for contested child proceedings under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-09.1 There should be one centralized roster.
The Committee expressed concern about the roster creating overly stringent qualifications for ADR providers. Currently, the requirements of AR 28 are too difficult to meet. Some Committee members suggested the roster should simply act as a "yellow pages" list without specific qualifications required for listing. Others stated minimal qualifications should be required for listing because the list is being sponsored by the court.
Committee members stated a disclaimer should accompany the roster indicating a degree of skill or competency is not implied by the roster. The roster would simply be provided as a service and a starting point for finding a suitable ADR provider. The parties would still need to inquire about the ADR providers experience and training to find a suitable match for their particular case. The parties would also be free to select someone of their own choosing who is not listed on the roster.
The material following contains provisions from other states governing ADR providers and a proposal for the Committee's consideration. Immediately following is N.D.R.Civ.P. 16(a) with the amendments made by the Committee at the last meeting.