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Common Procedural Questions & Answers

How do I schedule an ADR Phone Conference?

Filing a Request for ADR Telephone Conference (.pdf) in accordance with ADR L.R. 3-6 will result in the ADR Unit’s scheduling an ADR Phone Conference. Learn more about ADR Telephone Conferences.

Are there some types of cases in which ADR won’t be helpful?

Although most cases can benefit in some way from ADR, some cases might be better handled without ADR. These include suits in which:

  • A party seeks to establish precedent;
  • A dispositive motion or cross-motions requiring little preparation will probably resolve the matter;
  • A party needs the protections of formal litigation; or
  • There is an extreme imbalance of power between the parties.

If your dispute might benefit from one or more of the listed advantages, you should give careful thought to selecting the most appropriate process for your case.

Can the parties have input into the selection of the neutral assigned to their case?

Yes, but under no circumstances should the parties simply submit a proposed order calling for the appointment of a specific neutral as the court cannot guarantee that any individual neutral is available at any given time. Parties wishing to have input into the selection of the neutral for their case must first contact the ADR Unit.

  • For cases assigned to the court’s Mediation or Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) programs, after consultation, the parties may submit to the ADR Unit a list of 5 or more mutually agreed-upon names for consideration and the ADR Unit will make best efforts to appoint someone from that list.
  • For cases in which a Settlement Conference With a Magistrate Judge is requested, the parties may advise the assigned judge of their preference.
  • If the parties strongly prefer one specific person on one of the court’s neutral panels, the parties should hire that person privately and formally select private ADR in lieu of the court-sponsored ADR processes. See ADR L.R. 3-2.

How do I object to a neutral appointment?

Within 7 days of learning the identity of a proposed neutral, a party who objects to service by that neutral must deliver to the ADR Unit and all other counsel a writing that specifies the bases for the objection. The ADR Director shall determine whether the proposed neutral will serve or whether another neutral should be appointed. See ADR L.R. 2-6(4).

How do I report a violation of the ADR Local Rules?

If you wish to report a violation of the ADR Local Rules other than ADR L.R. 7 (which governs judicially hosted settlement conferences), you may informally contact the ADR Director who will attempt to resolve the matter. See ADR L.R. 2-4(a). A formal complaint of a violation must be submitted in writing to the ADR Magistrate Judge or emailed to ADR_RulesViolations@cand.uscourts.gov, and be accompanied by a declaration. Copies of the complaint and declaration must be sent contemporaneously to all other parties, the neutral and the ADR Unit. The complaint and declaration must be marked “confidential-not to be filed” and must neither be filed nor disclosed to the assigned judge. See ADR L.R. 2-4(b).

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