This study explores how felony settlement conferences can impact procedural justice. To gather data, Sigman conducted 15 interviews with attorneys and judges who have experience with felony settlement conferences including two prosecutors, one victim-witness advocate, six defense attorneys and six judges. Interviews focused on procedural justices, namely the quality of decision-making and the quality of treatment. In terms of quality of decision-making, attorneys said that the judges' experience and judicial legitimacy increased the perceived fairness of the process. Judges reported that defendants and victims felt the judges were neutral and respected their opinion. On the other hand, attorneys and judges were concerned about possible coercion by settlement judges to get the sides to accept a plea bargain.
Learning to Listen: An Evaluation of New Hampshire's Felony Settlement ConferenceRebecca Sigman. Ohio State Journal of Dispute Resolution, Jan. 1, 2019