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January 23, 2014
Proposed Adoption of a Mandatory Pilot Mediation Program
in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, New York County
The Supreme Court Committee of the New York County Lawyers’ Association reviewed the Office of Court Administration (“OCA”) proposal regarding the adoption of a mandatory pilot mediation program in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, New York County. In the pilot program, every fifth case assigned to the Commercial Division in New York County would be required to participate in mediation, subject to the parties’ ability to opt out by consent or by a party’s good cause showing that mediation would be ineffective or unjust.
A majority of members of the Supreme Court Committee voted in favor of the proposal following a presentation by the Commercial Division Advisory Council, which also recommended adoption of the pilot program.
The Committee agreed with the conclusion of the June 2012 Report of the Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century that “mediation is substantially underutilized in New York.” The Committee also observed that the Commercial Division Rule 3 already allows the court to direct the appointment of an uncompensated mediator for the purpose of mediating a resolution of all or some of the issues presented in the litigation.