Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye has announced the launch of a new program that, beginning in spring 2023, will make retired judges available to serve as mediators in civil cases.
The Temporary Assigned Judges Civil Mediator Program will allow courts to request a retired judge serving in the Temporary Assigned Judges Program to be assigned as a mediator in a civil case, at no additional cost to the parties or courts.
“The Temporary Assigned Judges Program serves a critical role in ensuring access to justice for the public and helping courts maintain efficient operations when faced with judicial absences and congested calendars,” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said. “The Temporary Assigned Judges Civil Mediator Program advances my vision for improving the public’s access to justice in a new approach that is directed toward civil courts. Ultimately, this will result in providing parties an opportunity to resolve their civil disputes in a more timely manner without further court proceedings.”
The new program will build upon three others initiated by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye that utilize retired judges to help ease the pandemic’s effect on court operations. They include: the Criminal Readiness Conference Program, which provided courts retired judges for assignment to conduct criminal readiness conferences; the Early Disposition Program, which encouraged courts to establish these programs for the early disposition of criminal cases; and the Court Backlog Assistance Program, which gave courts greater flexibility in using assigned judges to reduce backlog by suspending certain service limitations for retired judges.