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ADR: Paths to Settlement

Resolución Alternativa de Disputas: Vías a la conciliación

Welcome to the Court's Toolbox!

A drawing of a tool box with tools​This area provides resources for state courts. Here you'll find ideas and practical information that will help you to BEGIN, ENHANCE or EXPAND court-connected ADR programs. The "tools" include guides and manuals, checklists, sample forms, procedures, policies, innovations, best practices, and more!

“One Size Does Not Fit All”

New Mexico is a diverse state with limited resources. There is no need for courts to "reinvent the wheel" when starting a new service or program, but there is a need to tailor programs and services to fit the specific needs of the community that the court serves. This toolbox supports local court initiatives by providing resources that can be easily modified. Use the Toolbox as a springboard for learning and discovering what will work best for your court.

A Quick Start Guide for Courts

This Guide provides a brief overview for courts to assist in the development of a mediation service or program. This overview is a reference tool, designed to illustrate a few options for constructing a court-connected service, and is not intended as an exclusive or exhaustive plan. The Guide provides a starting point from which to build, and is (or will be) linked to a library of materials, including sample brochures, forms & documents, guidelines, specific techniques, a list of court ADR experts available to assist, and other useful reference sources.


"Ready, Get Set, Go!"

Ready? - The planning steps to be taken before beginning to build the program parts;

"Ready?" - Prepare the Stage

  1. Mission: Why does your court want a mediation program? What do you hope to accomplish?

    Task: Prepare a concise mission statement to guide program design and to assess whether the program meets your purpose once the program is under way.

  2. Jurisdiction: Does your court have the necessary authority to have the program?

    Task: Each court needs to determine whether the court has the authority to establish a mediation program and, if desired, the authority to require the participants to contribute towards the cost. The authority must arise from a statute, Supreme Court rule, or a local rule approved by the Supreme Court. Authorization may be different by the level of the court and by the type of cases or issues to be mediated.

  3. Case Selection: What cases will be referred to the program?

    Task: Identify the type of cases to be served by the mediation program, and at what stage of the proceedings mediation would preferably take place.

  4. For Free or For a Fee: What, if anything, should a party pay for the service?

    Task: Determine the policy for whether the services should be provided for free or for a fee to a party. The policy will guide the structuring of fees as described in the "Get Set" section

  5. Mediator Selection: Who will mediate?

    Task: Identify who will be providing the mediation services, including: will the mediators be court staff, contractors, or private providers; what qualifications must a mediator candidate have; how will candidates be selected; how will candidates apply; how will mediators be selected from the pool of candidates; and will the mediators be compensated?

  6. Court Leadership Selection: Who is in charge?

    Task: Determine who will oversee and approve the design, implementation, and administration of the program.

  7. Court Staff Selection: Who will do the work?

    Task: Determine who will serve on the Project Team to design and set-up the program, and identify the project leader.

  8. Court Resources: What is needed for the program?

    Task: Identify an initial list of resources which will be needed (such as rooms, staff, and funds) for the purpose of including the acquiring of resources in the Tasks and Timeline.

  9. Tasks and Timeline: What happens and when?

    Task: Have the Project Team determine the tasks and timeline for designing, implementing, and managing the program for approval by the court leadership.

  10. Stakeholders: Whose participation and support is needed?

    Task: Brief and solicit support and suggestions from those stakeholders who will be touched by the program, such as judges, court staff, attorneys, legal organizations, and the public. The effort to obtain early buy-in is better than to simply respond to reactions after the program is rolled out.

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