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Brooklyn Supreme Court expects 20,000 cases to be mediated each year

September 4, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term has officially implemented presumptive mediation, known as alternative dispute resolution, on all newly filed cases as of Tuesday, Sept. 3, in an effort to move cases through the court, one of the highest volume courts in the country, more quickly.

The plan was created after a stakeholder’s meeting that involved representatives from 22 local bar associations and will include nearly all civil cases brought in the Kings County Supreme Court. Court officials estimate that nearly 20,000 mediation conferences will be held in the first year.

The first scheduling notices for mediation went out on Tuesday. They’re scheduled for approximately 90 days after a Request for Judicial Intervention is first filed and notices direct litigants to report to Room 360 of the courthouse where they will be triaged by a judge or an alternative dispute resolution coordinator.

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Cases will also be assigned for a mediation conference before a judge, court attorney, judicial hearing officer or outside neutral evaluator when necessary. The court will compile a list of qualified neutral evaluators for more complex and time-consuming mediations.

Presumptive mediation has gained popularity in state and federal courts in recent years. In Brooklyn, presumptive mediation for matrimonial cases was tried successfully as a pilot program before it was extended statewide.

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts George Silver has been a strong proponent of presumptive mediation. He gave a continuing legal education lecture related to the topic before the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn yesterday.

Justice Lawrence Knipel, the administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, is enthusiastic about implementing in throughout his court and says that it will expedite cases and reduce the overall cost of litigation in Brooklyn.

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