Resources / Study / Innovation for Court ADR

Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

What’s Labor Day Got to Do with ADR?

Susan M. Yates, August 29th, 2014

For a while in the evolution of the ADR field, when two neutrals met they would sometimes ask what the other’s “profession of origin” was. What they meant was, “what did you do before you were a mediator?” There were some unspoken questions packed in there, too. They wanted to know, are you a full-time neutral or are you really from some other profession and trying to break into this one? And mostly I think they wanted to know, are you like me? Are you a lawyer, a therapist…?

I haven’t heard this question much recently. Maybe that is partly because ADR really is sinking into our society. Kids are mediating on playgrounds and deciding in college that they want to be mediators. Young adults are getting Masters Degrees in conflict resolution and looking to change the world. More people see mediation as their first career of choice, not the one they move to when they are tired of their original plan.

Even as conflict resolution increasingly becomes part of our everyday life, I would like to pay homage to a profession of origin that seems to be lost in the haze of ADR history. Thank you to the mediators and arbitrators who came from the labor relations field. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing RSI’s Foreclosure Mediation Research Intern

Shawn Davis, August 29th, 2014

MJ ScheerPlease join me in welcoming MJ Scheer to the RSI team. MJ is a second-year law student at Loyola University Chicago School of Law who is pursuing a career in appellate civil litigation, mediation, and arbitration. She will be with us for the fall semester, updating RSI’s national foreclosure mediation resources.

MJ has a passion for mediation and a history of studying foreclosure mediation and court-connected mediation programs. Her undergraduate thesis at Northwestern University was a comparison of foreclosure mediation programs in Oregon and Maine and an analysis of the symbolic nature of the state laws and statutes that gave them life. After graduation, MJ received a Master’s in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, where she focused her studies and expertise on the intersection of ADR and the law. Additionally, MJ has been certified by the state of Virginia to practice mediation in small claims court in General District Court in the state of Virginia through Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS). At Loyola, MJ is a member of Volume 46 of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal as a staff member, as well as Loyola’s 2014-2015 Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Here at RSI, MJ will research the changes and updates to foreclosure mediation programs throughout the country. If you have seen RSI’s Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program Models State-by-State or Foreclosure Mediation Program Funding documents, we are excited to report that updates are around the corner! Also, if you work in the field of foreclosure mediation, we’d love to hear from you, so we can ensure that we are reporting the most relevant and up-to-date information about the work that you are doing. MJ can be reached at intern[at]aboutrsi[dot]org.

Facebook’s User Conflict Resolution System: An Illustrated Walkthrough

Mary Novak, August 27th, 2014
Picture of a blooming cherry tree over a river

A Facebook user who objects to this photo can try conflict resolution online.

This post illustrates my recent discussion of the template-based online conflict resolution system Facebook has implemented for user disputes. The system asks users a series of questions, and suggests possible resolutions based on their answers. In some cases, Facebook may offer a user a pre-written message, filled out with a computerized template, to use as a starting point to address a conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

How Facebook Designed Its Template-Based Online Dispute Resolution System

Mary Novak, August 25th, 2014

 

Why don't you want to see this photo? It shouldn't be on FB

Facebook’s conflict resolution process, page 1

After my original post about Facebook’s online conflict resolution system, I received some requests for more information about the company’s research and the template-based self-help system they now use to resolve user disputes. This post will expand upon the research performed for Facebook by a team of social scientists from Berkeley, and present some examples of the conflict resolution templates which are now in place on the website. The source of this information is the video “New Tools to Understand People” which is available here. Tomorrow, I will follow up with a graphic demonstration of how this system works on the current Facebook site.
Read the rest of this entry »

Settlement Smarts for Self-Represented Litigants

Susan M. Yates, August 12th, 2014

Julie Macfarlane has written a useful guide for self-represented litigants participating in court-related settlement efforts, including settlement conferences with judges, mediations and direct negotiations with the other party’s lawyer. This could be a handy reference for court ADR programs to provide to parties.

The guide, “Settlement Smarts for Self-Represented Litigants: How to Use Settlement Processes Knowledgeably and Effectively,” is produced by the Canadian National Self-Represented Litigants Project. Thanks again to Richard Zorza’s great blog on access to justice issues for the heads up about this.