"Circuit Court Case Evaluation" is an alternative dispute resolution process which requires that most civil cases be evaluated by a panel of three experienced attorney "evaluators" who review written and oral presentations and "evaluate" the monetary value of each case. It is designed to encourage parties to settle their lawsuits short of time consuming and expensive trials by the threat of monetary sanctions if the evaluation is rejected. Once a case is evaluated by a panel, a party who rejects that evaluation faces the possibility of paying the actual costs, including reasonable attorney fees, of the opposing party for the remainder of the case unless the rejecting party improves its position at trial. These costs can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Thus, there is strong incentive to resolve cases.
The Case Evaluation/ADR Clerks are responsible for implementing the court rule. They schedule hearings in appropriate civil cases, receive the written case summaries, track the evaluations and follow up on the required documentation. Cases not resolved in the case evaluation process are scheduled for trial.
'ADR' or 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' is a process created by Michigan court rule, MCR 2.410, in which parties are referred to a mediator who helps them resolve their dispute, rather than litigate it in court. A judge can refer a case to ADR after consultation with the parties.
Case Evaluator applications are accepted at any time, but the cut-off date for the annual review of the case evaluator lists is October 1st of each year. A Case Evaluation/ADR Advisory Committee consisting of two judges and three representatives of the Macomb County Bar Association meets, reviews and approves/disapproves of applications. See LAO 2004-7 on the Publications page. ADR 'mediator' or 'provider' are accepted at any time. Depending on the number pending, the Case Evaluation/ADR Advisory Committee may approve them at other times during the year.
The Case Evaluation, Civil Mediator and Domestic Relations Mediator application deadlines are 10/31/2016 for this year.
ADR Local Administrative Orders
2014-16 In re: Selection of Case Evaluators and Case Evaluation Panels (Repeals 2004-7)
2014-15 In re: Adoption of ADR Plan