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Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein - Settlement Conferences
Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein
201 Robert A. Grant Courthouse
204 South Main Street
South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 246-8100

Settlement Conferences

Consistent with this court's Local Rule 16.6, the parties are expected to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution, or rather (ADR) among the approved forms of ADR are the following;

(1) Mediation;
(2) Early Neutral Evaluation;
(3) Mini-trial;
(4) Any other process that the parties agree upon.

Judicially supervised mediation is not a form of ADR.

It is assumed that the parties will, in most cases, engage in a form of ADR, usually private mediation, before they seek the court's assistance in conducting a judicially supervised mediation or settlement conference. If either party believes a judicially supervised mediation would be helpful and private mediation has failed or is otherwise inappropriate, the parties may request the court to schedule a settlement conference. Upon request, the court will schedule a telephonic conference with counsel and if all parties and the court agrees, the court will schedule a mutually convenient settlement conference.

Upon scheduling a settlement conference, the court will issue an order which among other things, requires the attendance of the parties or those having final decision making authority to personally attend the conference. Telephonic or videoconferencing are not permitted. In addition, the parties must exchange an offer and demand at least 14 days prior to the scheduled settlement conference. Parties must also submit a confidential settlement memorandum at least 48 hours prior to the settlement conference. The confidential settlement memorandum must include, in addition to the statement of facts and applicable legal principles, a discussion of prior settlement negotiations and any particular issues which might impede or impair settlement discussions.

Click on this link for a copy of the court's standard order setting a case for a settlement conference.

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