Minutes September 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011, at 2:00 p.m.
Conference Call


The Council convened at the date, time and place indicated above.
Members Participating:
Danny Crowe, Vice Chairperson
M. Dawes Cooke, Jr.
Robert E. Newton
Thornwell Sowell, III

Joan S. Brown, Bar Staff
Call to Order, Roll Call and Welcome: Mr. Crowe, standing in for Mr. Bell, called the meeting to order and welcomed those participating.

Approval of Prior Minutes: The Section Council received the Minutes of the June 24, 2011, meeting and adopted them by motion, second and unanimous vote.

Reports/Old Business:
a. ADR Commission Update: Ms. Brown gave an update on the ADR Commission’s pending proposal to the Supreme Court seeking permission to establish a statewide DSS mediation program in abuse and neglect cases. At the request of the Court, the ADR Commission revisited the issue and formed an ad hoc committee to study and revise the original proposal authored by Hon. Lisa Kinon. Presenting the revised proposal to the Chief Justice’s 25-member Docket Management Task Force headed by Hon. Kay Hearn were ADR Commission chair, Hon. William L Howard, Sr., and Hon. Ronald Norton (standing in for Judge Kinon). The proposal was very well received. The Commission subsequently voted for mediation expansion and agreed that in order to implement the expansion faster, it should use a two-pronged approach by going to DSS and at the same time informing the Court that a discussion was underway with DSS.

The matter of the Hearing Officer Program was deferred in light of the current economic circumstances and the hope that the expansion of the DSS program should free family court judges to devote more time to the remaining caseload.

The subject of confidentiality vs. privilege in mediation settings was sent to the Commission’s Program Committee for study prior to the next Commission meeting.

The next Commission was scheduled for November 22, 2011.

b. DR Section Web Site Update: Ms. Brown reported that Robert Hassold had sent her the final revision of the “About the Section” portion of the Web site and that she had had it uploaded to the Web site.

c. Sea Island Mediation Network Donation: There was no report.

d. Progress on Goals:
i. Collaborative Law – There was no report.

ii. Report on Institute on Dispute Resolution – There was no report.

iii. Compilation of Rules, Statutes and Regulations – Mr. Sowell reported that his firm’s summer law clerk had completed the compilation of rules, statutes and regulations concerning mediation in South Carolina and that he would email the completed project to Ms. Brown for distribution to the Council. Once approved by the Council, the compilation would be placed on the DR Section’s Web page.

e. C.C. “Cotton Harness Peace Award:  Mr. Sowell was to contact Saunders Bridges, Jr., coordinator of the ADR seminar scheduled for the Bar Convention in January 2012, concerning the recipient(s) of the award for this year, if any.

f. Rule for Payment of Mediators: There was discussion regarding the problems mediators were having collecting their fees. Remedies suggested were sending dunning letters and requiring that mediation and arbitration fees be collected up front. No action was taken.

g. Law School Professors Sitting Ex Officio on the Council: There was no report.

Next Meeting: The Council voted that the next conference call meeting be held at 11:00 a.m., December 2, 2011.

Adjournment: There being no further business, Mr. Crowe adjourned the meeting.