Moderated Settlement Conferences

Rather than conducting a single Moderated Settlement Conference immediately preceding a trial, these conferences can be scheduled with the parties (or at the request of one or both counsel) earlier during the life of the case to explore the impediments to settlement and the appropriateness and timing of additional ADR strategies. These settlement conferences are described as “meaningful events” according to the SCAO’s Caseflow Management Guide, since they are designed to resolve a case or move it to disposition as efficiently as possible. The conferences can be convened after a failed mediation to explore the impediments to a resolution, after a significant motion has been decided, prior to motion or discovery cut-off dates, or upon the request of a party.

Indications for consideration:

  • It appears to the court there is a significant likelihood the parties may not be able to meet important case milestones (discovery or motion cut off, deadline to engage in ADR, etc.)

  • It appears to the court there is a significant likelihood the parties may not be able to meet important case milestones (discovery or motion cut off, deadline to engage in ADR, etc.)
  • An important case decision has been made (denial or granting of class certification, motion for summary disposition denied, etc.), and there is an interest in reassessing the impact of the decision on the management of the case and the potential for a resolution opportunity
  • ADR has failed to resolve the matter to date and the court is interested in determining whether additional ADR processes may be helpful. A party has requested a meeting and wants to have the court initiate the request for a conference to avoid telegraphing any alleged “weakness” to the opposing party

Timing

As appropriate during the life of the case.