A Civil Conciliation Program in Barnstable started March 2017. The program provides conciliation for litigants at the pretrial for the civil docket with no fee. Volunteer lawyers are involved in select civil cases pending before the District Court.
Many of our litigants are either self represented or are represented on a limited assistance basis. For many litigants, time in court is time out of work or school, and translates to increased costs for transportation and child care, as well as increased legal costs. A case that is resolved fairly with the parties’ agreement, at a pretrial stage, represents a success for both the court and the litigants. Conciliation will almost certainly facilitate these kinds of successes.
(Judge Kathryn Hand, First Justice of the Barnstable District Court)