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Hennepin Lawyer


When Rule 114 of the General Rules of Civil Practice arrived on the Minnesota legal scene in July 1994, it took many attorneys by complete surprise. Even in Hennepin County, which has had a nonbinding arbitration program since 1984, some attorneys asked, "ADR? Is that short for Another Darn Requirement'?" Nearly two years later, now that most attorneys know that ADR is the acronym for "Alternative Dispute Resolution," it is time to take stock of Rule 114, to evaluate its influence on the practice of law and its impact on the courts.

This review is timely for another, very important reason. We are beginning to see the progeny of Rule 114. As we write this, the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on General Rules of Practice has proposed amendments to the rule. These amendments will make Rule 114 applicable to family cases. Family attorneys now will be required to consider and discuss ADR with their clients and advise the court regarding the appropriateness of ADR for all or parts of their cases. Judges also will be given the authority to order family cases into nonbinding ADR. If, at this point, we have learned any lessons from the implementation of Rule 114, they should inform the application of Rule 114 to the family area.

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Hennepin County Bar Association

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