Wednesday, September 1, 2021

U.S. District Court, Southern District visit U.S. District Court, Southern District website

Semester: 2021 Fall

Project Type: Dispute System Design

Students: Samantha Carvalho, Asiya Jaffer, Katie Chen

The Mediation Program at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York works with approximately 250 volunteer mediators to provide mediation in cases before the court. Currently, most of the mediation docket consists of civil rights cases.  

The SDNY mediation program approached HNMCP to explore the viability of a presumptive mediation pilot program for commercial matters at the SDNY, and to offer recommendations around design choices to consider.  Among other questions, the SDNY must assess the program’s feasibility, the impact of different models of mediator assignment, the type(s) of commercial cases that might best lend themselves to this type of program, the timing of referrals, and the scope or necessity of pre-mediation disclosures. 

Preliminary approaches and deliverables: 

  • Conduct interviews and/or focus groups with commercial attorneys, commercial mediators, other mediation programs (public and private), and additional stakeholders; 
  • Analyze the commercial matters referred to the SDNY mediation program in past years;  
  • Develop recommendations that address the viability of, and, if applicable, design choices for a pilot program for presumptive mediation of commercial cases.