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unified court system logoIn light of the court systems’ ADR initiative and imminent implementation of a new “presumptive ADR” program, practitioners should be aware of the impetus behind the drive and how they can prepare for it.

It started with a Press Release in April 2018—“New ADR Initiative Aims to Reduce Case Delays and Enhance Access to Justice” (New York State, Office of Court Administration, April 20, 2018)—that memorialized a plan to revitalize the court system’s commitment to Alternative Dispute Resolution, specifically mediation. The Press Release highlighted that this new plan would promote the goals of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s Excellence Initiative by helping to eliminate case backlogs and enhance the quality of justice. It stressed that although ADR has proven a meaningful, efficient and cost-effective way to resolve disputes in appropriate cases, it continues to be underutilized. Launching the initiative means increasing efforts to expand the use of ADR within the courts.

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