The judiciary, which once viewed private adjudication as an infringement on the jurisdiction of the courts, now sees alternatives as offering welcome relief to the courts while providing significant advantages to litigants. Such alternatives include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, the summary jury trial, early neutral evaluation, the mini-trial, reference procedures, and med-arb. Because the proliferation of alternative dispute resolution programs has resulted in widespread interest in how they work and what they can be expected to accomplish, and because the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska has recently adopted General Order 95-1012 directing federal judges to suggest certain cases for mediation, this Comment seeks to demystify the new Nebraska process. Part II begins by attempting to define mediation. Although commentators for the most part agree on what mediation is, there seems, at times, to be as many ways to proceed with a mediation as there are mediators. Part II continues with a brief discussion of the development of mediation in Nebraska, specifically in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. Part III offers a practitioner’s guide to General Order 95-10. It attempts to answer the question What happens when a case that I am working on in the United States District Court of Nebraska gets designated for mediation in lieu of litigation? Part III provides a step-by-step analysis tracing a case through the Nebraska system. Finally, Part IV briefly provides some advice to practitioners faced with federal mediation, and concludes that attorneys do play an important role in the mediation process—albeit a quieter one than they are used to performing.
Mark R. Privratsky,
A Practitioner’s Guide to General Order 95-10: Mediation Plan for the United States District Court of Nebraska,
75 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol75/iss1/4