1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101. (805) 568-3124


Contact: 805.568-3124

Unified Superior Court Launches
Court Administered Dispute Resolution (CADRe) Program

The Santa Barbara Unified Superior Court has officially launched a new and innovative program that is designed to increase dispute resolution options for litigating parties and lower their costs. CADRe (Court Administered Dispute Resolution) offers litigants early settlement options, including mediation, neutral evaluation, and binding arbitration.

"CADRe will result in faster, more satisfying, and less expensive solutions for citizens in dispute," said Presiding Judge and Chair of the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Programs Committee, Frank J. Ochoa. "The court will be more efficient and user friendly because of CADRe," added Ochoa.

The Court has also hired Lee Jay Berman, and experienced mediator and mediation trainer to direct the CADRe program. Prior to his appointment with the court, Mr. Berman operated his own mediation practice in Santa Monica. He serves on the Board of the California Dispute Resolution Council, and is the Chair of CDRC's Qualifications and Standards Committee, which recently published Standards of Practice for California Mediators. "CADRe is the first program of its type in Central or Southern California, and I am excited to contribute toward its development as a model for courts across the nation," said Berman. "The future of litigation is dependent upon successful programs like CADRe. The Santa Barbara Superior Court recognized this and responded in a meaningful way that should yield great results for all its participants," added Berman.

CADRe's establishment is the result of 18 months of planning and development by the Superior Court's Appropriate Dispute Resolution Programs Committee. Robert Oakes, J.D., M.B.A, a professor of law at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento designed CADRe. "The Superior Court is to be commended for adopting the most innovative, user friendly, and cost effective early case settlement program available," said Oakes. "CADRe is a model that will become the standard throughout California, and that should make Santa Barbara very proud," concluded Oakes.

At the parties' first appearance in court, the parties and lawyers may be required to participate in a CADRe conference, where an assessment of the case will be conducted. The case will be evaluated for referral to an early settlement CADRe process, such as mediation or neutral evaluation.

A fully litigated case can take in excess of two years to be resolved, but CADRe is likely to result in settlement within 60 days after the first appearance, resulting in substantial savings. A settlement rate between 60-80 percent is expected, and the litigants are likely to be more satisfied with a CADRe settlement than they are with traditional litigation.

# # #

[ top of page ]