DATE: December 2, 2005                                CONTACT: Laura Kiernan
                                                                                           Communications Director
                                                                                           271-2646 ext 359        



Peter Wolfe to Coordinate COURT MEDIATION/ARBITRATION SERVICES statewide

Former Sullivan County Clerk helped develop
alternative dispute resolution programs

 CONCORD—The New Hampshire Supreme Court announced today that Peter Y. Wolfe has been appointed to coordinate alternative dispute resolution programs throughout the state courts.  Wolfe, who recently retired as clerk of Sullivan County Superior Court after17 years, will oversee operation of current ADR programs throughout the Judicial Branch, which are designed to allow for resolution of disputes in an informal setting in order to reduce expenses for the parties and conserve judicial resources.

    "Peter Wolfe has been a leader in development of alternative dispute resolution programs in our courts since the early 1990s," Chief Justice Broderick said. "His experience will be invaluable as we seek to further expand our efforts to find ways for our citizens to resolve dispute outside a courtroom," Broderick said.

          “This new effort to strengthen and expand ADR is consistent with our commitment in the Judicial Branch to making justice accessible and affordable for all New Hampshire citizens,” the Chief Justice said.

          A variety of ADR programs are now available statewide including mediation in small claims and probate cases, and in certain family court cases. Some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)  is mandatory in civil cases in five Superior Court locations and voluntary in the remaining six superior court locations. As ADR coordinator, Wolfe will work with judges, lawyers and court officials to centralize all ADR efforts statewide and, over the next 18 months, develop a plan to establish a permanent Judicial Branch Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Services in that office, which are expected to be largely self-funded, would be available to litigants in cases already filed or for parties who want to resolve dispute without filing a court action.

      Chief Justice Broderick today also announced the formation of a new Judicial Branch “Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Services” to be chaired by Associate Supreme Court Justice Linda S. Dalianis. The committee will review current ADR services provided in the Superior Court and examine how they could be enhanced or expanded. The new committee will also work on the plan for the permanent Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

        Members of the new ADR services committee are: Superior Court Judges Robert E. K. Morrill and Carol Ann Conboy;  ADR coordinator Peter Wolfe; Attorneys Peter Cowan, Emily Rice, George Moore, Russell F. Hilliard,  Melinda Gehris, Kelleigh Domaingue, John Garvey, Jack B. Middleton, Jamie Hage, William Mulvey, Richard Moquin and Scott Flegal; Carroll County Superior Court Clerk Patricia Ann Lenz; Tammy Lenski, Ed. D; and Dr. James Squires, a member of the New Hampshire Citizens Commission on the State Courts.