Calendars Decisions

Settlement and Mediation Programs at the Appellate Division, Second Department

On August 22, 2018, the Second Department amended its Rules of Practice, which are effective on September 17, 2018, in relation to settlement and mediation programs (see 22 NYCRR 670.3[c], effective September 17, 2018). In addition to expanding its rules relating to its highly successful pre-perfection Civil Appeals Management Program, which is known by the acronym CAMP, the Court will be instituting a Mandatory Civil Appeals Mediation Program, aimed at settling appeals which have already been perfected.

The Purpose of the mediation program is to provide litigants with a confidential alternative dispute resolution process that may result in faster, more convenient, less expensive and less acrimonious settlement than might otherwise be available to them. The program will be mandatory in all perfected civil appeals in which the court shall direct. Special Masters, designated by the Presiding Justice based upon their training, experience, temperament, character and discretion, shall serve as neutral facilitators of communication to assist the parties in reaching future-oriented solutions that meet their individualized needs. The Special Masters will preside over a mandatory ninety-minute initial session, at no cost to the parties. If the parties and counsel wish to continue mediation beyond the initial session, they may arrange for further sessions at which the Special Master shall receive compensation as agreed upon by the parties.

The court is very optimistic about this new initiative and its potential impact on the backlog of perfected appeals we are currently experiencing. We welcome the feedback of parties, counsel and Mediators after the proceedings have concluded.