ACAM is an academy, not an association. While an association is a group of people joined together for a common purpose, an academy is a group of authorities and leaders in a field of scholarship, art, or the like who promote and dictate standards, prescribe methods, and suggest new ideas. ACAM is the only national organization dedicated to furthering the understanding of the bench and bar on the use of court adjuncts, special masters, court monitors, judicial referees, or masters of chancery, collectively referred to herein as “special masters.” All of ACAM’s members have acted as special masters. Many of ACAM’s members are former state and federal court judges. ACAM is a leader in promoting scholarship and research regarding the use of special masters and alternative dispute resolution. ACAM members are thought-leaders in the field. In short, when it comes to experienced and expert special masters, we are the Academy.
The first National Conference for Special Masters was held in October 2004 at the William Mitchell College of Law, with assistance from the Federal Judicial Center and the National Arbitration Forum. The conference led to the creation of ACAM.
The Academy of Court Appointed Masters (ACAM) began at the Special Master National Conference, co-sponsored by the William Mitchell College of Law and the National Arbitration Forum in October 2004. The primary goals of this historic gathering were to discuss and promote special master work and to create a national association of judicial adjuncts. The faculty included Ken Feinberg, Francis McGovern, Judge Michael Davis, Brad Jesson, and Martin Quinn.
The Academy currently focuses on expanding the effective use of masters.
The Academy has held productive annual meetings each year of its existence. Meetings are usually held during the early spring months, typically in warmer climates. network. Keynote speakers provide new and insightful ideas.
One of the Academy’s key accomplishments is the production of a Benchbook, providing invaluable information to judges and lawyers regarding the best use of special masters. The latest edition can be accessed on the ACAM website (see below). The Benchbook explains various types of masters including: Settlement Masters, Discovery Masters, Electronic Discovery Masters, Coordinating Masters, Trial Masters, Expert Advisors, Technology Masters, Monitors, Class Action Masters, Transaction Masters, Claims Administrators, Auditor/Accountants, Receivers, Criminal Case Masters, Conference Judges, Ethics Masters, and Appellate Masters. The publication also helps judges and lawyers (1) decide whether and when to appoint a master, (2) draft effective appointment orders, and (3) anticipate and effectively address ethical issues and practical concerns that arise in special master work. often provide a template for current and future cases.