A: CAMP, or Civil Appeals Mediation Program, is the mediation program at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Q: I have not yet been admitted to the Second Circuit. Can I still participate in the mediation?
A: Yes. Admission is not necessary to participate in mediation. For assistance with admission, see the Attorney Admissions page.
Q: What is the best way to contact CAMP?
A: The best way to contact CAMP is by sending an email to email@example.com. Emails are answered during office hours between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.
Q: Where will my in person CAMP conference be held?
A: The CAMP office is located in room 622 on the 6th floor of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY. Please use the Pearl Street elevators for access to room 622.
Q: Can I bring my electronic device to the mediation conference?
A: Yes. Electronic devices are permitted for use in mediation pursuant to the Standing Order attached to the in person conference Order. In order to bring an electronic device to the mediation, counsel must show security hard copies of both the mediation order and the Standing Order.
Q: Why are CAMP conferences sometimes by phone and sometimes in person?
A: CAMP conferences are scheduled in person if the attorneys of record are within commuting distance of the courthouse. If a client is required to participate in an in person conference and is not within commuting distance, counsel may make a request to CAMP at firstname.lastname@example.org for the client to participate by telephone. If a conference is scheduled to be held by telephone and all of the parties would prefer to meet in person, counsel may make a request for an in person conference to CAMP at email@example.com.
Q: How do I obtain the information needed for my telephonic conference?
A: Dial-in information, including an individual PIN, is sent by email to each counsel of record two weeks prior to the conference date. To obtain a PIN for an additional participant, please provide their name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Are CAMP conferences confidential?
A: Yes. The Court requires all participants to keep what is said in mediation strictly confidential. Communications, oral and written, shared in the course of a CAMP conference may not be disclosed to anyone other than the litigants, their counsel, the mediator, or other participants.
Q: Do the judges of the Court of Appeals learn what has happened at a CAMP conference?
A: No. What goes on in mediation stays in mediation.
Q: Must clients attend a CAMP conference?
A: The mediator is authorized under Local Rule 33.1 to require clients to attend a mediation. The Order scheduling the mediation will state whether client participation is required.
Q: Must each party's lead attorney attend the CAMP conference?
A: The attorney who is familiar with the case AND on whose advice the party relies should attend the CAMP conference.
Q: What happens at the CAMP conference?
A: CAMP conferences are official proceedings of the court but are off the record and relatively informal. The conversation will focus on assessing the prospects of the appeal, the risks and costs of further litigation, the interests of the parties, and the benefits each side can gain through settlement. The mediator may meet with the parties together and separately. Settlement proposals will be discussed. A resolution may or may not be reached during the initial conference. Follow-up conferences or communications with the mediator may be conducted.
Q: What should I do to prepare for the CAMP conference?
A: Counsel are required to consult with their clients and obtain as much authority as feasible to settle the case. Counsel should also review their legal and factual contentions, so that they are prepared to discuss candidly the prospects of the appeal and the case as a whole.
Q: What is the role of the mediator?
A: The mediator is a determined advocate of settlement without being coercive. She may act as a moderator, facilitator, intermediary, neutral evaluator, and reality-checker. She may suggest terms of settlement. Counsel can expect the mediator to be familiar with the history of the litigation, the posture of the case, and the issues on appeal. The mediator will seek additional information about the dispute and the parties' interests, claims, and defenses in order to fully explore all possibilities for voluntary resolution. While the mediator encourages the parties to take advantage of opportunities to settle, the mediator recognizes that settlement is not always possible.
Q: Can we talk about more than just the issues on appeal?
A: Yes. The parties are invited and encouraged to explore the possibility of a global settlement of the dispute between the parties. The discussion could include related litigation, arbitrations, issues still pending in the district court, or even anticipated litigation.
Q: How long does the CAMP conference last?
A: The court requests that counsel allot three hours for the conference. Generally, a conference lasts two to three hours.
Q: Does a CAMP conference affect the briefing schedule?
A: No, the briefing schedule is not adjourned or otherwise extended because of a CAMP conference. After a CAMP conference is held, if the parties continue to seriously explore settlement, and the mediator so authorizes, the parties may file a Local Rule 42.1 stipulation, which provides a temporary freeze of the briefing schedule. Click here for a sample Local Rule 42.1 stipulation, order, reinstatement letter and reinstatement order.
Q: My case won't settle. Can I cancel the CAMP conference?
A: Generally, no. The court is very mindful of using participants' time efficiently and effectively. Court-ordered mediation has many benefits, including assisting counsel and parties in assessing their options and interests. Such interests and options may not otherwise arise outside the context of a court-ordered mediation. In addition, an empirical study found that mediators may help counsel reduce decision-making errors
when evaluating the pros and cons of a settlement proposal. See Kiser, R., Asher, M., McShane, B., "Let's not make a deal: An empirical study of decision making in unsuccessful settlement negotiations." Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 5, 586-589 (2008).
Q: Do I have to settle my case?
A: No. Whether to settle is ultimately for the parties and their counsel to decide. However, counsel and parties are required to participate in the conference with the utmost diligence and in good faith. Experience shows that settlements can often be achieved when neither side thought it was possible.
Q: How can I make the best use of the CAMP conference?
A: The CAMP conference is an opportunity to achieve a favorable outcome for your client. Approach the conference as essentially cooperative rather than adversarial. Submit the confidential mediation statement. Help your client make settlement decisions not based on overconfidence or wishful thinking, but on a realistic assessment of the case. Listen closely to what the other participants have to say and give the process a chance to work.
Q: Is the mediation statement required?
A: The mediation statement is not required, but it is helpful to the mediator and may aid in making the conference more productive. It should not be filed, nor does it have to served on opposing counsel. It should be returned to the CAMP office via email at email@example.com
Q: When is the mediation statement due?
A: At least two business days prior to the conference date.
Q: A CAMP conference wasn't scheduled in my case. How do I request one?
A: Please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why you think a CAMP conference will be helpful. You do not need to get consent from your adversary, notify them or copy them in your email.
Q: How do I request an adjournment of the CAMP conference?
A: A timely adjournment request can be made via email to email@example.com, explaining the reason for the request and also advising opposing counsel of the same. Providing some mutually agreeable dates would be helpful. All adjournment requests will be decided by the mediator. Last minute requests are discouraged and will only be granted in case of an emergency.
Q: How do I file a stipulation?
A: All stipulations are filed using ECF. You may only e-file a stipulation on behalf of yourself. All other parties must either sign the stipulation in ink or e-file the same stipulation using their own ECF accounts.
Q: Who do I contact if I am having trouble with ECF filings?
A: Contact the ECF helpdesk during office hours between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays via telephone at (212) 857-8630, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.