Alternative Dispute Resolution for the 8th JD

 

Overview of 8JD ADR Programs & Providers 

8JD ADR Alternatives by Case/Court Type 

Contacts

Goals

• Foster early, cost-effective resolution of disputes

• Allow parties to express interests and feel heard

Attract and engage ADR neutrals with diverse personal and professional backgrounds

• Make interpreters and accessibility services available at court-provided ADR

• Open ADR to attorney participation

• Run ADR in parallel with court case and not slow litigation outcome

ADR

Policy

• It is the policy of the Unified Court System to encourage the resolution of civil legal disputes by methods including mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation, in-court settlement practices, and summary jury trials.
• All civil actions or proceedings heard in the Supreme Court, Court of Claims, County Court, Family Court, Surrogate’s Court and City Court shall be presumptively eligible for early referral to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process unless otherwise excluded.
Courts may refer parties to an ADR process at any time after an action has been commenced and are encouraged to do so at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

8th JD ADR Programs & Providers - Overview

Center for Resolution and Justice  This local nonprofit partners with the NYS Unified Court System to provide alternatives to litigation.  It offers many different ADR services throughout the 8th Judicial District.  Many of its ADR services are also available directly to the public (and without court referral).  Learn more

Child Welfare Permanency Mediation Program • Provides mediation of permanency issues in family court child abuse & neglect cases.  Court referral required.  Program services available after court petition filed.  Learn more

Children Come First Program • Court staff mediate parenting plans and conduct parenting assessments for supreme court matrimonial/divorce cases.  Court referral required.  Services available after lawsuit filed. Learn more

City Court Small Claims Mediation Program • The Center for Resolution and Justice mediates small claims cases from Batavia, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lackawanna, Lockport, Olean, Salamanca & Tonawanda City Courts.  Court referral required.  Services available after lawsuit filed.

Erie County Surrogate's Court Presumptive ADR Program • The Erie County Surrogate may refer Surrogate's court cases for mediation by mediators/neutrals who are listed on its court-approved Roster.  If court-referred, no fee is charged by the mediator for the first 120 minutes (but fees may be charged to parties choosing to go beyond 120 minutes).  Court referral required.  Services available after court petition filed.

Family Court Custody and Visitation Program • The Center for Resolution and Justice will mediate family court custody and visitation cases.  Court referral required.  Services available after court petition filed.

Martin P. Violante ADR Center • ADR-dedicated court staff provide mediation or enhanced settlement case conferencing for complex civil, commercial, and estate cases (not for divorce/matrimonial or family court cases),  Court referral required.  Services available after lawsuit filed.

Parenting Coordination Program • For parenting coordination in high conflict divorce/matrimonial and Family Court cases by Parenting Coordinators who are listed on a court-approved Roster.  Court referral required. Program services available after lawsuit/petition filed.  Learn more

Referral to Roster Meditator • Courts in the 8th Judicial District may refer cases to mediators listed in the 8JD Roster of MediatorsIf court-referred, no fee will be charged by the mediator for the first 120 minutes (but fees may be charged to parties choosing to go beyond 120 minutes).   

There is also a Statewide Directory of Mediators searchable by location and case type that includes mediators from across New York State and also includes more information about local roster members areas of practice and experience.  

Anyone may use the Statewide Directory, but only court-referred cases get 120 free minutes of mediator time. 

8th JD ADR Alternative by Case/Court Type

Complex Civil & Commercial (Supreme Court) • Martin P. Violante ADR Center - enhanced settlement case conferencing by ADR-dedicated court staff • OR • Case conferencing with Judge/law clerk assigned to your case • OR • Mediation or neutral evaluation by private-pay mediator/neutral listed in Statewide Mediator Directory

Divorce (Supreme Court)Children Come First Program - mediation of custody & visitation parenting plans (and conduct parenting assessments) • OR • Center for Resolution and Justice mediation of all matrimonial/divorce issues • OR • Parenting Coordination Program - child-focused parenting coordination by neutral listed on its roster • OR • Case conferencing with judge/law clerk assigned to your case • OR • Mediation or neutral evaluation by private-pay mediator/neutral listed in Statewide Mediator Directory

Probate & Estate (Surrogate’s Court) • Martin P. Violante ADR Center - enhanced settlement case conferencing by ADR-dedicated court staff • OR • Case conferencing with Judge/law clerk assigned to your case • OR • Mediation or neutral evaluation by private-pay mediator/neutral listed in Statewide Mediator Directory or Erie County Surrogate’s Court Roster of Mediators

Custody & Visitation (Family Court) • Family Court Custody and Visitation Program - mediation by Center for Resolution and Justice • OR • Case conferencing with Judge/court attorney assigned to your case • OR • Parenting Coordination Program Child-focused parenting coordination by neutral listed on its Roster

Child Abuse & Neglect Permanency Plans (Family Court)Child Welfare Permanency Mediation • OR • Case conferencing with Judge/court attorney assigned to your case

Small Claims (City Court) • City Court Small Claims Mediation Program - mediation by Center for Resolution and Justice • OR • Case conferencing with Judge/law clerk assigned to your case.

8th JD ADR Contact Information

Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District: Hon. Kevin M. Carter, J.S.C

8JD ADR Coordinator:  Audrey Rose Herman, Esq., Court Attorney Referee

Regional ADR Coordinator:  Bridget M. O’Connell, JD/MSW, Court Attorney Referee, 25 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202 

Martin P. Violante ADR Center:  Melissa Nickson, Esq., Court Attorney Referee
- Center for enhanced case conferencing of supreme and surrogate's court cases (but not divorce/matrimonial cases)

Matrimonial: Patricia Maxwell, Esq., Court Attorney Referee

Children Come First Program: Sarah Lane Koessler, LMSW or Chrissy Sarzynski, LCSW 
 - Program for mediation of custody/visitation parenting plans & parenting assessments in divorce/matrimonial cases

Child Welfare Permanency Mediation Program:  Suzanne Shafer, Program Administrator
 - Program for mediation of permanency plans in family court child abuse/neglect cases

Center for Resolution and Justice: (716) 362-2323 or mediate@cfsbny.org
 - The "CRJ" is a local nonprofit partnering with the court to provide many ADR services throughout the 8th Judicial District, including the City Court Small Claims Mediation Program & Family Court Custody and Visitation Program

Erie County Surrogate’s Court ADR Program:  Rebecca Diina LaCivita, Esq. or Joel Moore, Esq.
 - Presumptive ADR Program & Roster of Mediators

Case conferencing: lawyers should arrange case conferencing with chambers of Judge assigned to your case

8JD Roster of Mediators: Learn more

Statewide Mediator Directory: Learn more
 - Court-approved list of mediators/neutrals

Language access and court interpreters: Learn more

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