caucus (kaw-k[schwa]s), n.

1. Representatives from a political party who assemble to nominate candidates and decide party policy. [Cases: Elections 125. C.J.S. Elections ¡ì 104.]

2. A meeting of a group, usu. within a deliberative assembly, of people aligned by party or interest to formulate a policy or strategy. ¡ª caucus, vb.

¡°The term caucus also sometimes applied to a similar meeting of all the known or admitted partisans of a par-ticular position on an important issue ¡ª in a convention or any other deliberative assembly ¡ª who meet to plan strategy toward a desired result within the assembly. Such a meeting may be held on the presumed informal understanding that those who attend will follow the decisions of the caucus.¡± Henry M. Robert, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised ¡ì 59, at 588 (10th ed. 2000).

separate caucus. A confidential mediation session that a mediator holds with an individual party to elicit settle-ment offers and demands. ? When separate caucuses are used, the mediator typically shuttles between the two (or more) sides of a dispute to communicate offers and demands. Formerly, ABA Model Rule of Professional Re-sponsibility 2.2 (governing when a lawyer could act for more than one client or as an intermediary between parties) applied when a lawyer acted as a mediator. Although the rule was deleted from the Model in 2002, many states have similar rules in effect. The rule requires a lawyer acting as an intermediary to inform the parties about mediation and the mediator’s role, to act impartially, and to have a good-faith belief that the matter can be resolved in all parties’ best interests.

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