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Proposed SC Court-Annexed ADR Rules

The Program Subcommittee of the Supreme Court's Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) seeks comments by May 31 on its proposed draft of new circuit and family court-ADR rules. Links to the rules and how to view/post comments are near the bottom of www.scbar.org/adr. Or go directly to the following:

The draft rules are a merger of the Circuit Court ADR Rules and the Family Court Mediation Rules effective since 1996 in about six pilot counties (Anderson, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Lexington, and Richland). The new rules are intended to be implemented uniformly statewide upon Supreme Court approval. The proposed rules continue to require mediation or non-binding arbitration in most circuit and family court cases. However, the proposed rules are more streamlined, require less paperwork, make mediation the default process regardless of damages claimed (arbitration is optional), expand coverage in family court to include both contested custody/visitation issues and contested property/alimony issues, and include Subcommittee comments for clarification and background.

The Subcommittee and Commission will review all comments posted or received by May 31st and will make further edits accordingly, submitting their final proposal this summer or fall to the Supreme Court for review and approval. If questions, visit the above websites; contact Andrew Walsh at andrew.walsh@scbar.org; or contact one of your ADR Commissioners listed at www.scbar.org/adr (see "Resources") or 2003-04 SC Bar Lawyers Desk Book, p.393.