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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Archive for February, 2010

Poka-Yoke in Court ADR?

Susan M. Yates, February 25th, 2010

Michael Schrage’s Harvard Business Review blog explains the Japanese design insight called poka-yoke – Japanese for “avoid mistakes.” The idea is to design the “simplest, cheapest, and surest way to eliminate foreseeable process errors.” One example he gives is where an assembler uses three screws, so the screws are packaged in groups of three:  the package is a poka-yoke device.

My son’s high school biology teacher tries to use poka-yoke with her students by having all the homework on one color of paper, test prep on another, and so on. Can’t say it always works, but you can’t blame that on the device!

Along with being a nifty name, this made me wonder what poka-yoke are in use and might be designed for court ADR and for mediation in general. (more…)

Getting the Data Right

Jennifer Shack, February 19th, 2010

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” A couple of posts on the American Evaluation Association’s blog Genuine Evaluation have had me thinking about that quote and what it means for the development of court ADR programs.

The quote, of course, refers to the twisting of data to fit one’s argument. Sometimes, though, data is twisted inadvertently, leading to a misinterpretation of outcomes. I recently came across a minor example of this in an AP article that is unfortunately no longer available online,  about the first six months of the Foreclosure Mediation Program in Nevada (“Nevada Court: Homeowners Use Foreclosure Mediation Program,” January 19, 2010).  (more…)


Susan M. Yates, February 18th, 2010

Welcome to Resolution Systems Institute’s blog: Just Court ADR. I hope the play on words works for you. With this name, we sought to communicate two ideas. First, we are focused on court ADR. We will give ourselves some latitude in how closely the topics we cover relate to court ADR, but, at the core, court-related ADR is our interest. Second, we are interested in fair court ADR systems that provide justice. While there is much discussion about efficiency in court systems, we at RSI believe the underlying quality of court ADR programs is about much more. (more…)