All Civil Cases are scheduled for an ADR Pre-Trial approximately 90 days after the case is filed. The date and time of the ADR Pre-Trial is established immediately when the case is filed and the Plaintiff is required to serve this information with the Summons and Complaint on all Defendants. The purpose of the ADR Pre-Trial is to establish a plan for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The parties and attorneys should consider the different types of ADR, Arbitration, Case Evaluation, Mediation and the timing of ADR.
Traditionally, most attorneys have selected Case Evaluation at the end of discovery. However, Case Evaluation across the State of Michigan including in Jackson, resolves only fifteen to twenty percent of the cases. Mediation, which has also been called Facilitative Mediation, reportedly resolves 50 to 75 percent of the cases. You do not need to accept one or the other. You can select both but if you do that, you must decide which you want to do first.
Electronic / Over the Phone Process
Very few attorneys come to court for the ADR Pre-Trial. Some are conducted by phone but what usually happens is that the attorneys enter into a stipulation before the ADR Pre-Trial and the stipulation is mailed or faxed to the Court before the ADR Pre-Trial takes place. The ADR Stipulation (PDF) is self-explanatory.
Good Cause for Amendments
Attorneys and parties are encouraged to consider all the different options and to select the options that best suits the case. If you cannot agree on an ADR Plan, you must be present by person or by phone at the ADR Pre-Trial where the court will impose an ADR Plan after hearing from the parties. An ADR Plan may be amended by stipulation. If an amended ADR Plan will affect a scheduled pretrial or trial date, you must show good cause.