U.S. District Court Implements Mandatory ADR Program
November 4, 2011
The unique, mandatory ADR program in the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania has helped the court go from one of the bottom-quarter of districts in terms of civil suit backlog, to top 5% in the country. Since the program’s implementation, the court has reduced cases pending three or more years by 75%, and reduced motions not decided within 6 months by 90%.
“Virtually every civil case filed in the district, except Social Security and prisoner civil rights cases, is submitted, within a relatively short time period, to some form of ADR — either mediation, early neutral evaluation or arbitration,” writes Karen Engro, a consultant to the court there. And so far, all involved parties have reported positive feedback. Might this be the wave of the future?