NAF Holds 2nd Annual Series of N.J. No-Fault Settlement Weeks

October 12, 2005

The National Arbitration Forum will hold its second annual New Jersey No-Fault Settlement Weeks Oct. 24-28 and Dec. 12-16, 2005 for parties with legal disputes filed under the New Jersey No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Arbitration Program.

The National Arbitration Forum will encourage parties and their attorneys during these weeks to identify cases involving medical reimbursements for injuries suffered in automobile accidents that have realistic settlement potential, and to be proactive and open settlement communications in an effort to resolve the matters.

Parties and their attorneys in identified cases will not be required to travel to Dispute Resolution Professional (DRP) offices for hearings during the Settlement Weeks. DRPs will be available at no cost to facilitate voluntary settlement negotiations between parties, if the parties request intervention to assist in resolving the dispute.

Curtis Brown, general counsel for the National Arbitration Forum said, “Our on-going Settlement Week initiatives provide parties the opportunity to save time and money by resolving their disputes more quickly and provide us with valuable feedback for designing future settlement initiatives.”

The National Arbitration Forum launched the Settlement Week initiative in 2004 to assist parties in producing earlier and less-costly dispositions, to expedite scheduling of unresolved matters and to, ultimately, reduce the number of pending cases, which benefits all parties involved. During the inaugural initiative, parties reported:

* a 40 percent increase in settlements;
* that a primary benefit was time management of their settlement activities; and
* that they were able to focus on identifying potentially resolvable claims and communicate settlement positions to adverse parties.

To participate in the New Jersey No-Fault Settlement Weeks, parties simply need to identify those cases that have potential for settlement and contact the adverse party. If the services of a DRP are required to ultimately settle the matter, parties need to supply a list of cases to one week prior to each Settlement Week.

The National Arbitration Forum will select a DRP and advise all parties of the mediation schedule.

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