Neutral Corner: Why did trials ‘vanish,’ and what is the lesson for mediation?

In his article, “The Disappearance of Civil Trial in the United States,” Yale Law School professor John H. Langbein explored the factors leading to civil trials having all but “vanished.” He concluded that the largest single cause of the decline in the number of jury trials was the robust and extensive fact discovery promoted, if not mandated, by the adoption of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
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Firms cite 1851 law in Missouri boat accident, seek mediation

Two companies facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people have invoked an 1851 law that allows vessel owners to try to avoid or limit legal damages as they also seek settlement negotiations with victims’ family members. But Tia Coleman, an Indianapolis woman who survived the accident, and lawyers for others whose family members died denounced the filing as callous and insulting.
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Justices expand online CLE, CME credit hours

Lawyers and judges can now take twice as many hours of continued legal education through online programming per three-year period after the Indiana Supreme Court amended an existing rule to education requirements. Similarly, mediators will not be denied credit for digital programs under an amendment to continuing mediation education requirements.
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USA Gymnastics president: Mediation with Nassar survivors

The legal portion of the Larry Nassar scandal at USA Gymnastics may soon be over. USA Gymnastics President Kerry Perry said representatives for both the organization and athletes who were abused by Nassar — a former national team doctor who abused hundreds of women under the guise of medical treatment — met last week for mediation talks. 
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Hays & Lee: Prepare to break through mediation impasses

A primary reason for an unsuccessful mediation is when an impasse occurs and parties are unwilling to compromise further to reach resolution. Lawyers representing clients in mediation should see it coming and try to avoid it if they really want to settle their case. Avoiding an impasse should not only be the duty of the mediator, but of participating counsel.
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