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Early Assessment Program

(Alternative Dispute Resolution )

pinEarly Assessment Program (EAP) Administrator Vacancy posted 09/14/2012

The Early Assessment Program is the Western District of Missouri's alternative dispute resolution program created by the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998.

All non-excluded civil cases that are filed at Kansas City are included in the Early Assessment Program. A meeting is normally held within 30 days after the filing of responsive pleadings or as soon thereafter as practical. When a case is filed in Kansas City, a Notice of Inclusion in the Early Assessment Program in the Western District of Missouri is filed in the case. At that time, you will learn if the case is assigned to a United States Magistrate Judge or a United States Bankruptcy Judge, or to the Administrator of the Early Assessment Program, or to an outside mediator. It is important to read the notice and the General Order in effect for the Early Assessment Program. If the case is assigned to an outside neutral, you should read the Guidelines for Neutrals.

The lawyer responsible for the trial of the case and the client with full settlement authority are expected to be present in person for each early assessment meeting. If an insurance company’s approval is required to settle, a representative of the insurance company with significant settlement authority shall attend the meeting. It is expected that both sides will have their case reasonably evaluated before the initial meeting. Attempts will be made to mediate a settlement of the case. If the case is not settled, we will attempt to determine what stands in the way of prompt evaluation and settlement.

In the event a continuance is necessary, you must call the Administrator within six (6) days after the date of this letter. Continuances for cases assigned to the Administrator are authorized only for good cause stated.

At the initial early assessment meeting, you should be prepared to discuss the material facts and any unusual law concerning your case, and the reasonable litigation costs for a trial and appeal of your case. Please read the General Order for the Early Assessment Program. You should be familiar with alternative dispute procedures.

You will need picture identification to get through courthouse security. Cell phones, recorders, cameras and other electronic devices will be kept at Security until you exit the courthouse.

Parking near the courthouse is a problem. Some on-street parking may be available. You will need an ample supply of quarters for the parking meters. There is a Kansas City, Missouri high rise parking building at 11th & Oak, just west of the Kansas City City Hall. The handicap entrance to the federal courthouse is at the southeast corner of the courthouse at Locust & 9th Street.

The early assessment meeting is a closed meeting. Non parties and lawyers who are not on the pleadings may not be allowed to sit in the early assessment meetings without the approval of the Administrator. The Administrator accepts input from each side before making a decision as to whether or not a non-party will be allowed to sit in the meetings.

On this Website, you will find the General Order and the Notice of Inclusion in the Early Assessment Program, as well as the Guidelines for Neutrals, a list of qualified neutrals, and an article prepared by the Administrator titled "Five Years of Random Testing Shows Early ADR Successful," which was published in Dispute Resolution Magazine in the Summer 1997.

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