Rebecca Thiem, Chair
Dr. James Antes
Hon. Lee Christofferson
Rep. Kim Koppelman
Rev. Laurie Natwick
Staff: Christine Hogan
Chair Rebecca Thiem called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. She welcomed the members of the committee to the second meeting, took the roll and thanked Leo Wilking for hosting the meeting at his office.
Consideration of July 19, 2001 meeting minutes
The following amendments to the July 19, 2001 meeting minutes were approved:
1. Substitute "chaired" for "served on" in first paragraph on page one;
2. Substitute "as" for "was" in second paragraph on page one;
3. In the second paragraph on page three, the first sentence should read "The committee discussed the variations in the districts regarding implementation of Rule 8.8."
4. Correct spelling of word "possess" in the second paragraph on page four;
5. Append list of committee member's terms to the minutes.
The minutes as amended were approved on a motion by Mr. Gross and seconded by Mr. Marcil. The motion carried unanimously.
Update on ADR Issues
Ms. Thiem requested that committee members go around the table and update each other on ADR activities and events that they had become aware of since the last meeting.
Mr. Marcil said he had participated in the SBAND Bench & Bar Seminar on October 25-26, 2001, in Fargo. He said that he had taught a program covering the forms of ADR, the benefits of ADR, and a review of the new North Dakota rules. His partner, Maureen Holman, led a seminar on the applications and benefits of ADR in family law. Mr. Marcil said that the seminar was well received.
Mr. Gross said he attended the annual meeting of the Association for Conflict Resolution in Toronto in October. One of the items discussed at the meeting was the Uniform Mediation Act, which was recently approved by the National Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The Act sets forth uniform standards to be adopted by individual state legislatures or court rules.
There was a general discussion of the family law mediation pilot program in the South Central Judicial District. Ms. Thiem said that the pilot program would be the primary topic of discussion at the January 25, 2002 meeting.
Staff Update on Survey on Implementation of Rule 8.8
Ms. Hogan said she had attended a meeting on November 13, 2001 at the capitol organized by acting Court Administrator Ted Gladden on Rule 8.8 implementation. Each district's ADR administrator was in attendance. The administrators were asked to explain what was going on in their districts in terms of Rule 8.8 implementation. As of the date of that meeting, not much had changed in the districts since our July 19, 2001 survey on implementation of Rule 8.8 was prepared, with the exception that the presiding judge in each district has now appointed an individual to serve as ADR program administrator.
Ms. Hogan noted that it became clear during the meeting of ADR administrators that the administrators are looking to the Joint ADR Committee for guidance on Rule 8.8 implementation. The administrators are also looking to the South Central Judicial District Court Administrator's Office for model court rules, forms and procedures for implementing Rule 8.8.
Ms. Thiem said that she is planning to attend a meeting of the Supreme Court Case Flow Management Committee in December. The scheduled topic for the meeting will be case management procedures under Rule 8.8. Ms. Thiem said she would report back to this committee at the January meeting.
Ms. Thiem said that, in terms of Rule 8.8 implementation in the South Central Judicial District, she has learned that if attorneys check "court-sponsored mediation" on the forms, a judge will be assigned for settlement conference. If the attorneys check "mediation," a judge will probably not be assigned. The committee discussed generally the implementation of the "court-sponsored" aspect of Rule 8.8.
Kristine Paranica on "Mediation and ADR in North Dakota"
Ms. Thiem asked Ms. Paranica to give an overview of her recent article on mediation and ADR in North Dakota. Ms. Paranica said that the primary problems raised by the new North Dakota ADR rules is the lack of a definition of mediation in the rule and lack of protection for confidentiality of private mediation. This led to a general committee discussion of problems with the mediation model in North Dakota. The committee concurred there is no general agreement whether judges should be participating in the mediation process. The committee also discussed general problems with the mediation roster in that the roster contains no indication of a mediator's qualifications. There was some question whether advertising specialty areas on the roster may be a violation of the ethical rules binding attorneys. The Chair summarized the discussion, saying the fundamental issue before the committee may be to determine whether the court-sponsored mediation model is an appropriate model for addressing access-to-justice issues.
Jim Antes on mediation program in Florida
The Chair asked Dr. Jim Antes to tell the committee about his research on court-annexed mediation programs undertaken in Florida. Ms. Thiem said that at future meetings the committee will be reviewing other court-annexed mediation programs in other states. [See attached hand-out.]
Development of Continuing Education Rules for ADR neutrals
The committee examined draft CLE Commission guidelines prepared by the staff for approving training programs and continuing education coursework for ADR neutrals. Ms. Hogan explained that the draft before the committee is based upon the CLE Commission guidelines for lawyer training programs. After discussion, the committee determined that the Joint ADR Committee should be the body that approves the initial training programs and education coursework for ADR neutrals. The committee asked the staff to redraft the guidelines substituting the Joint ADR Committee for the CLE Commission. The committee also suggested that the rules be redrafted to spell out the requirements of the initial training programs for arbitrators and mediators.
The committee suggested that an additional standard be added outlining the specific requirements for training programs for family law mediators. Ms. Thiem asked the staff to prepare revised draft guidelines for the next meeting.
Develop action plan for future meetings
The committee discussed planning for the January 25, 2002 and the March 15-16, 2002 meetings. After discussion, the members concurred that the January 25, 2002 meeting should focus on the family law mediation pilot program in the South Central Judicial District. The March 15-16, 2002 meeting will be a two-day, educational program at the Conflict Resolution Center in Grand Forks. Further plans for the March meeting will be discussed at the January 25, 2002 meeting in Bismarck.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.
SBAND Executive Director