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New York to Litigants: Let’s Settle Those Lawsuits (The Wall Street Journal)

The Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2018

New York to Litigants: Let’s Settle Those Lawsuits [subscription required]

“New York’s court system has a message for some people and businesses who file civil cases: Get out of the courtroom. Court officials are looking to expand a Manhattan pilot program that requires parties in many contract disputes, such as those involving commercial leases or construction, go through mediation prior to appearing before a judge. The program includes nearly all contract cases filed in Manhattan with claims of $500,000 or less that don’t have motions pending before a judge. ‘For participants in most disputes, conventional litigation frequently costs too much and takes too long,’ said John Kiernan, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP who chairs an advisory panel on alternative-dispute resolution convened by the court system….The Manhattan program comes amid a push to expand mandatory meditation in both federal and state courts. Late last month, the New York City Bar Association recommended that courts support, and in some instances mandate, mediation.”

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