The 8th Judicial District ADR Program is assembling a Court Roster of paid mediators in matrimonial and Family Court matters and unpaid apprentice mediators to handle parenting issues pending before the court.
Mediators will not be compensated for the first two (2) hours spent in ADR. Thereafter, mediators, not employed by an agency having a contract with the Office of Court Administration, will be paid at the hourly rate they have listed on the Court Roster for mediation work. Billable time will include actual time spent in mediation sessions and up to one-half hour of pre or post preparation time for each scheduled session. Compensation exceeding more than $1,500.00 is subject to prior court approval.
Mediators’ responsibilities may include:
• Coordinating with Court staff;
• Managing cases promptly and efficiently;
• Conducting mediation in accordance with the Model Standard of Conduct for Family and Divorce Mediation (www.afccnet.org/resources/resources_model_mediation.asp);
• Preparing mediation agreements and/or disposition forms in a format acceptable to the court; and
• Mentoring apprentice and student mediators.
To be eligible to receive a Court referral and be included on the Court’s Roster of Mediators- Parenting Issues in Matrimonial and/or Family Court Matters, an individual must have extensive, relevant legal expertise in parenting issues or extensive professional training and expertise regarding parenting issues. Additionally, the individual must complete 40 hours of mediation training either conducted by a trainer whom the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs has certified or that the Office of Court Administration’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program deems to comport substantively with the curriculum guidelines promulgated by that office. The 40 hours of training must include at least 24 hours of training in mediation skills and techniques and at least 16 hours of additional training on the specific training on mediation of child custody and parenting issue matters.
Applicants must also document substantial recent experience mediating actual cases, preferably family matters. Substantial recent experience is defined as at least 150 hours of actual face-to-face mediation practice as either a solo or co-mediator within the last five (5) years or the applicant must document successful completion of a structured apprenticeship.
Appointment to the Court Roster is at the discretion of the Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District in consultation with the Coordinator of the Unified Court System’s Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs. Admission will be competitive and will be based on each applicant’s training, experience, education, and availability to mediate. Applicants may be required to participate in an interview process before a review committee appointed by the Administrative Judge. Applicants may be requested to complete additional training or experiential requirements prior to admission to the Court Roster if, in the opinion of the review committee, the applicant’s mediation training and experience does not fully prepare them for mediator status.
Individuals who have completed the training requirement but do not meet the experiential requirement may be admitted as an unpaid apprentice mediator. Before being admitted to the Court Roster as a paid mediator, an apprentice must conduct two structured roleplay mediation sessions as a co-mediator under the mentorship of a mediator previously admitted to the program roster and observation of at least one mediation session involving an actual controversy between the parties; and mediation or co-mediation of at least ten (10) matters involving actual controversies between parties; and mediation or co-mediation of at least one case as the primary mediator followed by either a debriefing session with the coach or mentor or completion of a self-evaluation instrument.
An individual who has completed the minimum forty (40) hours of mediation training described above, may be provisionally accepted on the Court Roster on the condition that they complete all other requirements within six (6) months of their acceptance on the Court Roster of Mediators.
Pursuant to the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, 22NYCRR 146.3b, neutrals shall be redesignated to the court roster every two years. In determining whether to redesignate any neutral, the neutral must show proof of compliance with the requirement that they attend at least six (6) hours of additional approved training relevant to their respective practice areas every two years pursuant to 22 NYCRR 146.5. Mediators may also be removed from the panel at the discretion of the Administrative Judge in consultation with the Coordinator of the Unified Court System’s Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs.
Mediators may be removed from the panel at the discretion of the Administrative Judge in consultation with the Coordinator of the Unified Court System’s Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs.
APPLICATION FORM & INSTRUCTIONS
To be considered for the Eighth Judicial District Matrimonial and/or Family Court’s Mediator roster, please complete the enclosed application and return it to:
Mary Louise Hayden, Esq.
8th Judicial District ADR Program Administrator
92 Franklin Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
Include a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae including references along with your hourly rate. Please also indicate if you utilize a sliding fee scale in appropriate cases.
Answer all questions completely.
Inform your references that they may be contacted by the 8th District Administrative Judge’s Office.
Sign and date the declaration at the end of the application.