Hendershott is a welcome reaffirmation of Montana’s stand against domestic violence: domestic violence is a public matter requiring serious judicial attention. Without a systematic screening method, however, courts are ill-equipped to disqualify cases for mediation. Montana needs a method that not only diagnoses for domestic violence, but also distinguishes among different types as many, if not most, cases would benefit from mediation. An absolute bar is not the solution. What is required is a broad-based outreach and educational effort that would support what I suspect mediators across the state are already doing: tailoring mediation to address the needs of domestic violence victims. Instead of denying victims the opportunity to mediate, we should train mediators to empower survivors who choose to mediate. Domestic violence survivors should be able to choose the dispute resolution process that best suits their unique situations.
Eduardo R.C. Capulong,
Family Mediation after Hendershott: The Case for Uniform Domestic Violence Screening and Opt-In Provision in Montana,
74 Mont. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.umt.edu/mlr/vol74/iss2/2