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Settlement Program

The First Circuit’s Civil Appeals Management Plan (CAMP) is governed by Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and First Circuit Local Rule 33.0. Local Rule 33.0 mandates alternative dispute resolution of all civil appeals, except habeas corpus petitions, prisoner petitions, pro se cases, summary enforcement actions of the National Labor Relations Board, Social Security appeals, petitions for review from orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals, and original proceedings, such as petitions for mandamus. The purpose of the CAMP program is to provide a confidential forum in which to promote settlement where feasible, simplify the issues on appeal, and address procedural questions and any other matters that may assist in the disposition of the proceeding.

Pursuant to Local Rule 33.0(a), appellants must file a docketing statement within 14 days after the case is docketed in the Court of Appeals. The information contained in the docketing statement will help determine whether a case is eligible for the CAMP program. If the case is eligible, Settlement Counsel will be notified. Where appropriate, Settlement Counsel will then contact the attorneys to schedule a conference. Settlement Counsel will request that the attorneys submit a copy of the relevant orders, memoranda, opinions, and other relevant information about the appeal before attending the conference.

CAMP conferences usually occur before briefing and generally take one to three hours to complete. In special circumstances, the conference may be conducted by telephone, but in-person conferences are preferred. After the initial conference, Settlement Counsel may conduct one or more follow-up telephone conferences and, in some cases, have the parties appear for a subsequent in-person conference. After the conferences are complete, a report is filed with the Clerk’s Office indicating only that the case has been settled or that it has not been settled. All substantive communications occurring in the course of a conference and in subsequent discussions are confidential. The substance of the conference is not included in the case record, and Settlement Counsel, staff, and counsel may not disclose such information to any judge or other person, aside from clients or co-counsel.

The First Circuit currently has two CAMP offices - located in Boston, Massachusetts and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Settlement Counsel in Boston generally handles appeals from the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine. Settlement Counsel in San Juan generally handles appeals from the District of Puerto Rico.