PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
JUNE 30, 2003
Louisiana Supreme Court has approved an appellate Pilot Mediation
Program proposed by the First Circuit Court of Appeal. The
Court will fund the one-year program designed to resolve disputes
as early in the appellate process as possible and participation
in the mediation program will be at no cost to the parties.
"This pilot mediation
program will aid the First Circuit Court of Appeal by resolving
cases in a timely fashion which will ultimately benefit the
attorneys, litigants, judicial system and society at large.
Having served as a mediator before becoming a judge, I have
seen firsthand that mediation is an effective tool in dispute
resolution," said Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John L.
Participation in the
mediation program is completely voluntary. If all parties
agree to mediation, mediation will take place within 60 days
of the agreement to participate. Mediations will take place
only in those cases where all parties agree to participate.
According to First
Circuit Court of Appeal Chief Judge Burrell J. Carter, "Confidentiality
is an important component of the program. All material received
by the mediation program will be maintained separate and apart
from the regular court records and will not be accessible
to members of the court and will only be available to the
mediators and staff assigned to administer the program. The
judges of the First Circuit will not be advised which cases
have been selected for the program and whether or not the
parties elect to participate."
The state court appellate
Pilot Mediation Program adopted by the First Circuit Court
of Appeal was modeled after the federal court mediation program
which has been successfully in operation at the U.S. Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans since 1996.
For more information on the First
Circuit Court of Appeal Pilot Mediation Program contact Chief
Judge Burrell J. Carter at (225) 222-4171, Judge Page McClendon
at (985) 624-3310, or Clerk of Court Chris Crow at (225) 342-1500.