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 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 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 Statewide Mediator Directory as practicing in the 8th Judicial District.  If 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).  Anyone may use the Directory, but only court-referred cases get 120 free minutes of mediator time.  This court-approved Directory of mediators is searchable by location and case type.  Learn more

8th JD Roster of Mediators (more detailed information about roster members’ areas of practice can be found through the statewide directory above).

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 • OR • Mediation or neutral evaluation by private-pay mediator/neutral listed in Statewide Mediator Directory

8th JD ADR Contact Information

Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District: Hon. Paula L. Feroleto, J.S.C

Acting 8JD ADR Coordinator:  Jennifer Widger, Esq., Principal Law Clerk

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

Martin P. Violante ADR Center: Maureen Waddell, Principal Court Analyst 
- 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

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

Language access and court interpreters: Learn more

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