NMMA Fall 2019 Newsletter


The Association will hold its Annual Meeting on November 15, 2019, in Albuquerque.  The time will be from 9 a.m. until 12:00 Noon.  We will meet at 6767 Academy Road NE., ABQ (same location as last year.  We have a full morning of business, including elections so please plan to participate or ask the Secretary for an Absentee or Proxy vote privileges.


The Risk Management Division of the State GSD is held its Statewide Meeting for its Volunteer Mediators on October 9 and 10, 2019 in Santa Fe.  The Association was present to offer Information to the Attendees about the Association, ADR opportunities, and Membership.  We developed booth graphics as well as a table cloth to use as we search to get our message out to the general public, legislators and other mediators.


As Ted mentioned in his Letter, we need Officers, Board Members and Regional Representatives for 2020 and beyond.  For information about serving in any office, contact Ted at 575-639-4254 or ted@swresolution.com.  He can provide details on what the role requirements are.

MODRIA Pilot Program Update

As previously mentioned, the State AOC launch of the Online Mediation Tool began in late spring 2019.  Through August 2019, 1.713 cases were eligible for the program.  The District Courts in the Pilot referred only 110 to Online Mediation.  Of these, only 1 Mediation was in progress and the others were either ended due to No response by either party or response was with either party or nothing has progressed.  After a certain time, the case is referred back to the court system for further action.


We are sad to report that the efforts of a Sturdy Group of Members to create the opportunity for Non-Attorney Mediators to Mediate Elder Care issues in New Mexico has been stopped.  Until such time as the Legal community in New Mexico stops the roadblocks and prevention tactics they could not proceed.  Additionally, Non-Attorney Mediators interested in being trained in Elder Care Mediation was low or non-existent.  Is the membership willing to allow this kind of activity to continue or can we resurrect and enhance the efforts of this Network?


Beginning with 2020 membership renewal or payments, members will have the opportunity to add their information similar to the membership form onto the website.  Information will include Contact Information and up to 3 areas of Mediation that the members specialize.  Those Professional Mediators who provide Pro-Bono will also be listed but the listing will include lesser details.  Please make sure you renew or join and remain current in your dues for this to assist in Brand awareness of your skills and services.  Check out the new members whose listing has been posted on the site as a demonstration!


As you know, stuff happens.  When we change officers, stuff gets misplaced, lost or confused.  We have that issue with our most current membership lists.  We have kept these on excel sheets and have over time merged the lists for one reason or another.  Can you help us clarify you join and paid member dates?  Why do you ask? We need to clean our current and past member lists for membership recruitment and validate with our deposits who has paid for 2018 and 2019? Since our treasurer is MIA this information has been difficult to secure and work on validation.  If you can help out, please let Elena Hernandez know at ehmediator.org or 505-688-2046.


My apologies (this is Ted) for not providing more frequent updates on what is going on with the State ADR Commission of which I represent the Association on.  Thank you, members, for kicking me to update the membership on what is going on!

New Staff at AOC:  When I joined the Commission, it lacked Leadership participation at the State ADR Leader level.  This has since been resolved as Mateo Page, Former Magistrate Judge from Moriarity joined as the statewide Manager for ADR.  In addition, with the help of many of you, we were able to convince and coerce the legislature to change the Magistrate Court Mediation leader position from “soft money” (funded by fees only) to a Permanent fully funded position.  This position has been approved as of July 1, 2019, and applications have been received, screening is occurring, and a candidate should be named soon.  Unfortunately for NMMA, we were not part of the interview process and have been excluded from much detail on selection.

District Court Mediation Fee Structure: Based on legislation passed in 2017, the Commission was charged by the Supreme Court to explore and Initiate a Sliding fee structure for the District court Mediation System outside the “power 3” areas of Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque in early 2018.  A current sliding fee has either been approved by the Supreme Court for or has been reviewed and recommended for approval for those district courts. Approved are the 7th, 8th, 9th and 13th.  Pending and in final approval stages are the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 11th.  Unfortunately, the 10th and 12th have been slow to comply but encouragement from others will help compliance.  These courts are implementing changes as we write about it.  Recently a meeting of the Power 3 courts was held to discuss mediation programs in their court systems and ways/means that could be shared with the smaller courts as they look to expand mediation programs in their court.  What is next is to attempt to standardize the ADR rules statewide – a major problem from my perspective – in how, who and why things are done.  Such variance today may be problematic in consistency and transparency going forward.  From a personal standpoint, I feel the fees are too low for mediation services.  Since clients needing representation many times do not hesitate to pay handsome retainer fees, this creates a perception that mediation could be a “cheap alternative.

ODR Program Growth:  For the most part, the program has not been widely embraced by the Mediation Community or the Audience it is intended to serve.  Courts initially participating were the 2nd, 6th and 9th. Since then the program has been expanded statewide in an effort to grow faster.  An emphasis on a pilot program in the Magistrate system for the 3rd District is underway.  This will focus on Traffic violations.  Much money has been invested that may or may not have been better spent on existing needs and services surrounding ADR and Mediation.

New Mexico Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution Recommendations: In a May 2019 report released in June 2019, the Staff of AOC/ADR was charged by the Supreme Court to Review the Current Landscape and Recommend how to Build a Statewide Infrastructure.  Authored by Mateo Page, Statewide Program Manager of ADR and Celina Jones, General counsel of the AOC, the report lists 10 ways to expand ADR programs statewide.  The unfortunate part is that the NMMA was minimally involved in input for the recommendations. 

Committee Work:  I have been involved with the Sliding Fee Scale and Ethics Committee but have volunteered for others that I feel may benefit the Association membership.  Additional committees active include a Communications/Marketing/Outreach Committee and Training Committee.

If you desire further information or clarification, please contact me at ted@swresolution.com or 575-639-4254.