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Tag Archives: Family Law

Ennis solicitor highlights mediation benefits

DUE to new legislation, it is likely over the coming months that lawyers will be required to advise their clients to consider mediation in order to resolve disputes and an Ennis-based solicitor has said the process could save a family years of pain. The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel are currently drafting the Mediation Bill which, if and when enacted, would make it mandatory for solicitors and barristers to advise parties who are in a dispute to consider resolving it using the mediation process. In circumstances where parties go to court, the Mediation Bill will also require the parties to state to the court that they have been told about the mediation process and have considered it as a way of resolving the dispute. Last July, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said there is no specific time-frame for the Bill. However, she said she expected it to become law ahead of the general election. Minister Fitzgerald said the new legislation would …

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District court president in Ennis

By Nicola Corless THE president of the district court sat in Clare for just the second time in the State’s history last week. Judge Rosemary Horgan presided over Family Law sittings on Thursday and Friday on the invitation of local district court Judge Patrick Durcan. Clare’s family law lists are notoriously long, with as many as 60 cases listed to be heard in one day. Last year, in addition to the two scheduled family law sittings each month, 17 special sittings had to be held here, presided over by visiting judges, in an attempt to deal with the backlog of cases. Marie Keane of Callinan Keane Solicitors explained the significance of the visit. “This is just the second time ever a President of the District Court has come to sit in Clare. The previous one was Judge Smithwick so this is quite an honour for her to come here,” she said. “Judge Horgan”, according to Ms Keane, “was concerned with …

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Family law court workload “insanity”

THE level of casework in Clare’s Family Law Court has been described as “insanity”. Sixty individual cases were listed at last week’s sitting, compared to a typical list of 25 to 30 cases in other areas. As each case is held in camera, with no member of the public allowed to attend, some litigants in family law proceedings must wait their turn for several hours in the corridors at Ennis Courthouse. Dr Carol Coulter, the director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project (CCLRP) and former Irish Times legal affairs editor, made her dramatic comment about the “insanity” of the long list of Clare cases after attending last week’s court. This was her first time attending the childcare court in Ennis and she expects to be back again in the next eight or nine months. Dr Coulter, commented, “There were 60 cases on the list. That is just insanity. How could you give a proper hearing to 60 cases? Given that …

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