Western District may nix court-annexed arbitration

The Western District of Michigan is taking comments on a proposed local court rule amendment that would eliminate court-annexed arbitration as a means of alternative dispute resolution.

Administrative Order No. 12-028 explains:

[T]his Court hereby gives notice of its consideration of amendments to Local Civil Rule 16, to eliminate reference to court-annexed arbitration.

The Court’s experience with alternative means of dispute resolution in this district shows that attorneys and clients rarely resort to court-annexed arbitration, as they prefer other methods of dispute resolution, especially voluntary facilitative mediation.

After consulting with this Court’s Standing VFM/ADR Advisory Committee, the Court has concluded that court-annexed arbitration should no longer be offered as a method of alternative dispute resolution in this district.

Send comments by April 23 to:

Tracey Cordes, Clerk
United States District Court
399 Ford Federal Building
110 Michigan, N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
ecfhelp@miwd.uscourts.gov

The court will act on the matter at its June 2012 meeting.

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Dickinson Wright doubles up with chair election

Are two heads better than one? That’s what one of Michigan’s largest law firms is thinking.

On Tuesday, Dickinson Wright PLLC announced that Edward H. Pappas and James A. Samborn were elected co-chairmen of the firm, succeeding Dennis W. Acher.

Both Pappas and Samborn come to the table with a fairly recent canon of leadership — the former was the 2008-09 president of the State Bar of Michigan, while the latter capped 10 years as Dickinson Wright’s CEO.

We can’t help but notice that both of them specialize in commercial litigation and ADR –meaning that they could, if they wanted to, sue each other over office space, then hire one another as mediators.