New York Law Journal
July 24, 2008
New York has established for the first time statewide guidelines for the qualifications and training of mediators and neutral evaluators who are called into cases by judges seeking to encourage out-of-court settlements.
Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau issued the new rules earlier this month with the approval of the Administrative Board of the Courts, which is comprised of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the presiding justices of the four Appellate Division departments.
The guidelines require that mediators who want to make the rosters from which judges make assignments must have at least 24 hours of training in basic mediation skills and at least 16 hours of additional training in specific mediation techniques in the types of cases referred to them.
The rules also limit those wanting to be assigned as neutral evaluators to those who have practiced law or served as judges for at least five years with “substantial experience” in the kinds of cases referred to them.
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