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Federal court offers settlement incentives to ease backlog

Eager to reduce a growing backlog of lawsuits, federal court officials in Buffalo will be offering a settlement incentive in the coming months.

The effort, known as “Settlement Week,” is targeted at older cases on the U.S. District Court docket and includes an offer of free mediation services for parties willing to explore a settlement.

Launched by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., the program will run Oct. 30-Nov. 8 at the Robert H. Jackson Courthouse in Buffalo and from Nov. 13-22 at the U.S. Courthouse in Rochester.

"Mediation has proven to be an effective tool for resolving cases, and this initiative will hopefully assist us in our constant struggle to keep up with the increasing caseload,” Geraci said in a statement this week.

The settlement efforts will be directed by mediators from the court’s mediation program with their fees paid by the court.

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