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IBA: Mediation Day

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The Indianapolis Bar Association’s ADR Section and the Bar’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono jointly hosted their first annual Mediation Day on August 3, 2010 at Baker & Daniels downtown Indianapolis office.  The purpose of the Mediation Day was to provide a service to the Marion Circuit Court and community by volunteering time to mediate several screened cases for litigants who qualify for modest means mediation. 

“We truly believe that this joint collaboration between the ADR Section and Pro Bono Committee is a win-win for all involved. It allows the litigants to resolve difficult and emotional issues surrounding their children effectively and economically in a manner in which they can problem solve in a safe environment and control the outcome of their case,” said Jill Goldenberg-Schuman, ADR Section Chair and partner at Cohen Garelick & Glazier.

Attorney volunteer mediators waived their normal $100.00 per hour fee for modest means mediations.  The litigants paid his or her share proportionate share of the modest mean rate based on a sliding scale and the dollars earned were donated to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. Commissioner Sheryl Lynch in Paternity Court screened non domestic violence cases for inclusion in the project.

“It is a win for the Paternity Court as we can help alleviate the heavy demand in their court due to its high volume case load and at least try to settle some difficult cases. It is a win for the law firms and its staff who house the program as they can provide a great service simply by donating space and time and their staff have the ability to participate/volunteer in something they might not otherwise have had the opportunity, “ Goldenberg-Schuman added. “Finally, the mediators win because not only do we have a chance to help out the litigants and give back to our community and court systems, but it allows the mediators an additional chance to hone their skills.”

To speed the process a pro tem judge was on site to approve mediated agreements in the ten cases set for mediation that day. Staff members from Baker & Daniels assisted with copying and clerical support.•

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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