Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mandatory Mediation in Italy? Mamma Mia!

Wall Street Journal
March 14, 2011

Lawyers in Italy are preparing to go on strike Wednesday to protest a new law requiring mediation in commercial cases.

As a way of calling for changes in the law, Italy’s lawyers are being asked to abstain from attending hearings in any civil, criminal, tax, or administrative proceedings, and to send their clients letters urging them to sign a form letter of protest.

The strike—if it takes place—is supposed to end Monday, and has been called for by Italy’s national union of lawyers, the Organismo Unitario dell’Avvocatura Italiana.

It’s worth noting that the strike period in essence extends a long weekend during prime skiing season, as several American blogs have pointed out. Nevertheless, at least one mediation proponent contends that the strike itself is evidence that mediation “is being treated as a serious threat by a constituency with a stake in judicial inefficiencies.”


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