J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building
844 N. King Street
Wilmington, DE 19801-3555
Chambers Main Phone: 302-252-2577
Courtroom Deputy: Cailah Garfinkel
Term Law Clerk: Sara Metzler
Term Law Clerk: Andrew Kerrick
To Download an opinion, RIGHT-CLICK on the FILE: link and select "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As..."
NOTE: All files are in PDF format
Please click here to access all Current and Previous Opinions.
OVERVIEW OF MEDIATION/ADR PROCESSES
Eligible Cases: All civil cases, except prisoner petitions and habeas proceedings, may elect to use ADR.
Excluded Cases: Unless otherwise assigned by a judge, prisoner and habeas petitions are excluded.
Referral Method/Notice to Parties
Any civil action may also be referred on the Court’s own motion or by stipulation of the parties.
After referral has been made, the magistrate judge will notify the parties through an order as to the date and time of a teleconference to discuss the form of alternative dispute resolution to be used, the procedures to be followed, including the submission of materials for review prior to the dispute resolution conference, and the timing for that conference. Dispute resolution conferences will not be scheduled prior to the Rule 16 scheduling conference, unless referred or ordered by the district judge.
Parties may opt out of participating in the ADR process only by consent of the Court.
THE KEY FEATURES OF THE MEDIATION PROCESS
The Parties: provide a description of who the parties are, their relationship, if any, to each other, and by whom each party is represented, including the identity of all individuals who will be participating on behalf of a party during the mediation conference.
Factual Background: provide a brief factual background, clearly indicating which material facts are not in dispute and which material facts remain in dispute.
Summary of Applicable Law: provide a brief summary of the law, including applicable statutes, cases and standards. Copies of any unreported decisions (including decisions from this jurisdiction) that counsel believes are particularly relevant should be included as exhibits.
Honest Discussion of Strengths and Weaknesses: provide an honest discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the party's claims and/or defenses.
Settlement Efforts: provide a brief description of prior settlement negotiations and discussions, including the most recent offers or demands exchanged between the parties and the reasons for rejection, and the party's assessment as to why settlement has not been reached.
Settlement Proposal: describe the party's proposed term(s) for a resolution. Identify any interests or issues not directly involved in this matter that may frustrate or further settlement. If the party has any suggestions as to how the Court may be helpful in reaching a resolution, such suggestions should also be described.
Fees and Costs: list separately each of the following: (i) attorneys’ fees and costs incurred to date; (ii) other fees and costs incurred to date; (iii) good faith estimate of additional attorneys’ fees and costs to be incurred if this matter is not settled; and (iv) good faith estimate of additional other fees and costs to be incurred if this matter is not settled.
In addition to addressing the topics listed above, the parties are encouraged to include other information that may be of assistance to the resolution process.
Crucial or pertinent documents or other similar evidence or a summary of such documents may be submitted with the mediation conference statement.
Full Authority: means that those participants on behalf of a party should be able to make independent decisions and have a knowledge or understanding of the dispute and/or business objectives/operations of their company to generate and consider solutions and/or be able to address the negotiation dynamics in mediation. Full authority is not just settlement authority.
Parties who fail to appear may be subject to a rule to show cause and sanctions.
If settlement is reached on all issues during the mediation conference, a written agreement in principle regarding the settlement terms may be drafted or a record of the agreement may be made through a court reporter.
If settlement is reached on some issues, a stipulation of dismissal on those issues should be filed as soon as conveniently possible, which also identifies those issues which remain. The magistrate judge retains jurisdiction over any disputes that may arise in drafting of the final settlement documents.