The Academy of Court-Appointed Masters (ACAM) is not just an association, but an academy that aims to be the leader and voice of a profession. “Special Master” includes a broad array of adjuncts who assist the administration of justice in any of numerous roles including “referee,” “master,” “discovery master,” “settlement master,” “trial master,” “referee,” “monitor,” “technical advisor,” “auditor,” “administrator,” “court- appointed expert,” “claim administrator,” “investigator,” “liaison,” “facilitator,” and many others in a list that is both flexible and creative.
ACAM’s members include former state and federal court judges and thought leaders on the creative use of special masters as tools to assist in the administration of justice and the development of the special master profession. ACAM’s members have dedicated themselves to helping:
ACAM began at the Special Master National Conference, co-sponsored by Mitchell Hamline College of Law and the Arbitration Forum with assistance from the Federal Judicial Center 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.
ACAM’s goal is to reach out as broadly as possible to create a new and far more diverse special master community. Members have the opportunity to receive unique training and mentorship from luminaries in the field.
ACAM works with the American Bar Association and other organizations interested in dispute resolution to develop ethics and professional standards. Its members agree to adhere to highest professional standards reflecting a commitment to providing service to the courts and the community that promotes just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of disputes.
The Academy has a long history of unique annual meetings with extraordinary speakers, cutting-edge discussions and opportunities to develop professional skills and contacts.
ACAM reaches out to a wide community of judges, court staff, public and private organizations, practitioners and the dispute resolution community who share the goals of improving the administration of justice and employing the latest in skills and technology to meet that end.
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.