Probate and Family Court Pro Bono Conciliation Program

The first conciliation program of its kind in Massachusetts (and only second in the country) the ECBA Probate and Family Court Conciliation Program revolutionized pro bono court-connected alternative dispute resolution. 

  • An Order to Conciliation is required.  The Judge may suggest conciliation.  If not, the parties can, at any time, request an Order by filing a Motion.  A copy of the Order is then emailed to Conciliations@essexcountybar.org.
  • An experienced attorney, known as a neutral or conciliator, who has been trained and certified per the SJC Rules on Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution, will be assigned.
  • The neutral and parties work together to schedule a convenient date for the conciliation.
  • The neutral reviews all documentation relevant to the case prior to conciliation.
  • The conciliation will be held via Zoom or at the neutral’s office.
  • The neutral provides a reasonable amount of time (typically 2-3 hours) to help resolve the issues.
  • These neutrals donate their valuable time to this highly successful program, however, a mandatory, non-refundable $75 per party fee is required to help support its administration. The fee is waived for low-income litigants pursuant to qualifying within the 200% bracket of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 
  • Conciliations will not be scheduled until the ECBA receives the administrative fee from each party.

$75 Administrative Fee