Magistrate Judges, ADR & Justice

From Jean Sternlight at UNLV

The Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution, together with the UNLV Boyd School of Law and the Duke University School of Law, is sponsoring a conference entitled Magistrate Judges and the Transformation of the Federal Judiciary on September 25-26, 2015 in Las Vegas.  This conference will highlight how magistrate judges are using ADR as well as other tools to change how federal trial courts handle civil and criminal disputes.

Professor Nancy Welsh, William Trickett Faculty Scholar at Dickinson School of Law, Penn State University, will headline the ADR panel. Focusing on procedural justice, due process and self-determination, Welsh will examine the procedures magistrate judges use in connection with fostering settlement, particularly on the civil side.  She will examine differences in the way various magistrate judges approach settlement, for example whether they attempt to settle cases in which they will hear a trial, whether they meet ex parte with parties, and how they handle confidentiality. Having explored these differences other possible approaches.

Joining Welsh on the ADR panel will be Professor Nancy King (Vanderbilt). King will present work she has done regarding the work of federal magistrate judges, as well as state court judges, in the criminal context. One focus will be the role judges can sometimes play in plea agreements, though federal judges are now precluded from this role by the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Davila (2013). The panel also includes Magistrate Judges Valerie Cooke (D. Nev.) and Michael Newman (S.D. Ohio) and will be moderated by Professor Jean Sternlight (UNLV).

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