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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122710 Find in a Library
Title: Settlement Week 1989 Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Corporate Author: District of Columbia Superior Court
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: District of Columbia Superior Court
Washington, DC 20001
Sale Source: District of Columbia Superior Court
400 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Washington, D.C., Superior Court held its third annual Settlement Week in May 1989 to develop and coordinate alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
Abstract: During the week, hundreds of citizens involved in approximately 700 civil lawsuits pending in Superior Court worked with attorneys and volunteer mediators to reach mutually agreeable solutions to their disputes. The week was judged successful, with settlements reached in 43 percent or 288 of the cases ordered into the program and participants reporting overwhelmingly positive reactions to their experiences. Of the 457 cases completing mediated settlement conferences during the week, or in followup sessions thereafter, 33 percent or 152 cases resulted in a settlement. Twenty percent of all cases were settled before their scheduled conferences. Data on all mediated cases, provided by 473 litigants and 871 attorneys, showed that 80 percent of the lawsuits were tort cases and 18 percent were contract cases. Ad damnum clauses of the mediated cases ranged from $469 to $60 million. The single largest category of cases, however, involved those valued between $100,000 and $500,000. Cases were scheduled for 1.5-hour settlement conferences, and nearly two-thirds completed mediation in this amount of time or less. Most cases were mediated solely by an attorney; 18 percent involved multiple plaintiffs, while 39 percent involved multiple defendants. In cases not settled by mediation, frequent reasons concerned the amount of money, unwillingness of parties to negotiate beyond a certain point, and insurance carrier reluctance to offer a specified settlement amount. 17 tables.
Main Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement
Index Term(s): Court statistics; District of Columbia; Mediation
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