Reprinted from the October 7, 2014 Mongoose newsletter.
It would not seem proper for a for-profit flea market to operate in the rotunda of the court of appeals building or a used car lot to be run at the top level of the county parking garage. How then could it possibly be right for an attorney to be allowed to use a courtroom for private, paid mediations? How much influence and stroke would a lawyer have to be able to openly schedule mediations in a courtroom?
Cause No. 2001-48545 was a child custody modification suit. The parties mediated temporary orders with Mary Ellen Hicks. Judge Lisa Millard appointed Gary Polland to be mediator without a request from either party or the amicus once the case was set for a jury trial. Polland eventually wrote the parties to schedule the mediation in a courtroom of the Juvenile Courthouse.
I have these questions:
- How many times has Polland been allowed to conduct mediations in private cases in the courthouse?
- Can any attorney sign up to use the courthouse for mediations like this?
- Which judge authorized the use of county facilities for a private, for-profit business activity?
Did Polland pay the county any rent for use of the courthouse?