I’ll Take Superior Court Probate Mediation For $1,000, Alex

I hope that you have had a happy and safe holiday season.

Here at A Connecticut Law Blog, I’m ready to hit the ground running in 2009. The Pats aren’t in the playoffs, truck day is still 5 weeks away, and I’m feeling energized.

This post comes from a merger of two ideas. First, as Rick Green often writes about, contested conservatorship proceedings can be ugly to say the least. Second, the more I litigate, the more I believe in mediation.

A contested conservatorship can cost a person his or her life savings and dignity. It’s possible in a drawn out proceeding for a proposed conserved person to pay for an attorney, a GAL, and the petitioner’s attorney.

Most conservatorship proceedings are not long protracted battles that end up in Mr. Green’s columns. Probate judges, litigants and lawyers do their jobs and you never read about it.

Then there’s those cases that make the headlines.

For those cases, how about mediation?

Connecticut Superior Courts use mediation in all housing cases, family cases, and by agreement of the parties in contested civil matters. Recently, the foreclosure mediation program has gained acclaim. Why do courts use mediation? Because it works.

I think, a proposed conserved person, should have the option of mediating the proceeding before a superior court judge prior to a contested hearing in probate court.

This would give a proposed conserved person, who maybe unhappy with probate court venue, an option to have his or her case heard before a superior court judge prior to incurring thousands of dollars in fees.