March 3, 2009

NEWS: Budget Cuts Will Close State Courts on Fridays – An Opportunity for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Effective March 13, 2009, Oregon State courts will be closed on Fridays due to budget issues.  The closures will remain in effect at least through June 30, 2009. Future closures depend on budget decisions the legislature will make later in its session.  A link to the Oregon Judicial Department announcement regarding the cuts can be found here. The closure will affect how fast parties can get a judicial resolution of a family law dispute. 

While some cases require a Judge to make decisions to resolve a case, having a judge impose a decision on litigants is usually not the best way for a family to resolve disputes.  Most good family law attorneys advise clients to participate in mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.   A small group is trained in collaborative law, a rapidly growing form of alternative dispute resolution.  The lawyers of Stephens & Margolin LLP are prepared to meet the needs of family law clients by offering dispute resolution tools that don’t require a judge or a five day a week court calendar.  We are strong advocates of using mediation to resolve cases, and are trained in using collaborative law to resolve the needs of clients outside the court system.