Italian lawyers to strike over mandatory mediation in commercial cases

March 15, 2011 Lawyers in Italy are preparing to go on strike on Wednesday in protest over new laws requiring the parties to go to mediation in commercial cases.

The strike has been called by Italy’s national union of lawyers, the Organismo Unitario dell’Avvocatura Italiana. The orgaisation asks lawyers to abstain from attending hearings in any civil, criminal, tax, or administrative proceedings, and to send their clients letters urging them to sign a form letter of protest.

According to reports, Italy suffers from a backlog of 5.4 million civil cases, and a 2008 European Union directive calls on every E.U. nation (except Denmark), to pass a law by May providing for mediation of cross-border civil cases. Only Italy’s new law makes it mandatory, effective March 21.


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