Case On Point
In this month's case, the Court of Appeals upholds sanctions for noncompliance with mediation rules.
Liebowitz v. Bandshell Artist Management
(2d Cir. Ct. of App. 2021)
Most courts have rules governing mediations taking place under their auspices. Those rules may specify procedures for mediator selection and compensation, confidentiality, submission of pre-mediation statements, and party participation.
The rules of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District mandate in-person attendance at mediations by parties and their counsel, unless the mediator permits telephonic or videoconference participation. In this copyright infringement case, neither plaintiff nor counsel of record appeared. Rather, an associate who had not filed a notice of appearance attended the mediation. When defendant moved for sanctions, plaintiff's attorney testified falsely that the mediator had given such permission. Based on this conduct, and the filing of an action alleging the copyright had already been registered when it had not, the court imposed extensive sanctions, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.