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Happy Resolution Systems Institute Day!

Nicole Wilmet, July 11th, 2019

Today we are celebrating Resolution Systems Institute Day!

On this day last year, during our summer staff gathering in Rockford, Matthew Flores presented RSI’s Executive Director Susan Yates with a Proclamation signed by the City of Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara declaring July 11, 2018 as Resolution Systems Institute Day!

In 2013, RSI received a grant from the Illinois Attorney General to incubate foreclosure mediation in Illinois through August 31, 2018. Over the course of five years, these programs served nearly 5,000 homeowners, and kept 1,100 people in their homes. In 2018, RSI’s Director of Research Jennifer Shack completed her final evaluation of the programs, which you can read here. RSI is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the 17th Judicial Circuit and thanks Mayor McNamara for making July 11th a day we will always remember!

Matthew Flores, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Rockford, presents Susan Yates, RSI’s Executive Director, with a proclamation declaring July 11, 2018 as Resolution Systems Institute Day!

My Favorite Resource Featuring Sharon Sturges

Nicole Wilmet, July 2nd, 2019

Our series My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite ADR resources. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Sharon Sturges, Director of the Colorado Judicial Branch Office of Dispute Resolution, to learn about her favorite resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

SS:   As the administrator of a statewide court ADR program, my favorite resource is the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) website and publications.  NCSC is a trusted go-to resource for all things state courts. Lately, I have been immersed in such far-ranging topics as user-centered design, behavioral nudging, and online dispute resolution. I can always count on NCSC for already having looked at these topics, which they have!

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

SS: No other institution understands state courts and emerging topics as well as the NCSC with its vast network of experts on such a wide range of topics facing state courts today. If they do not know about a topic, the NCSC is wonderful at finding an expert who can help with whatever challenges I face as an ADR administrator. NCSC publications are first rate and provide me with information on what other states, institutions, and researchers are up to. Also, they are accessible!

NW: How did you first learn about this resource?

SS: When developing my Masters in Public Administration Capstone project.

NW: For those unfamiliar with this resource, what is one part of this resource you wouldn’t want someone to miss?

SS:  Any conference sponsored by NCSC, they are quality events!

If you have a favorite resource you would like to share in an upcoming edition of our newsletter and on our blog, please reach out to our Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet at nwilmet@aboutrsi.org!

New Mexico Launches Nine ODR Pilot Programs

Nicole Wilmet, June 28th, 2019

On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court of New Mexico announced the approval of nine new online dispute resolution (ODR) pilot programs to resolve debt and money due cases. The programs will run until June 30, 2020 and will operate in New Mexico’s Second, Sixth, and Ninth Judicial District Courts, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, and five Magistrate Courts in Curry County, Grant County, Hidalgo County, Luna County, and Roosevelt County. The Administrative Office of the Courts will be overseeing the pilot project and will appoint and certify mediators to serve in each of the programs. The courts will be using Tyler Technologies’ Modria® software for each of the programs.

Referral to the pilot programs will be mandatory for all applicable debt and money due cases. If the parties enter into a settlement agreement through the pilot program, then their agreement will be put into writing, signed and filed with  the court using the Modria software. In the event the parties do not reach a settlement agreement within thirty days, then the court may either grant an extension to continue the parties’ use of ODR or schedule a date for trial or other hearing. The Supreme Court of New Mexico will be using these nine pilot programs to consider expanding the ODR program to courts statewide.

My Favorite Resource Featuring Christine Poulson

Nicole Wilmet, May 30th, 2019

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite ADR resources. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Christine Poulson, Executive Director at Resolution Virginia, to learn about her favorite resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

CP: I have spent twenty years working in community mediation. My go-to resource is the National Association for Community Mediation’s email list-serve.

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

CP: There are hundreds of not-for-profit dispute resolution centers across that country that are trying to attain similar goals. These centers have a wealth of experience and they generously share that experience through the NAFCM list-serve so that no one has to reinvent the wheel. If I am having a problem at a center, likely someone else has had that same problem and has found ways to resolve it. If I want to start a program that someone else has run for years, I can get their “lessons learned” and save myself some failure. Perhaps most importantly, the list-serve helps me to feel that I am part of a supportive community that celebrates my successes and keeps me going when things are difficult.

NW: How did you first learn about this resource?

CP: As a NAFCM member for many years, I learned about the resource when the NAFCM Executive Director suggested I ask a question of the membership via the list-serve.

NW: For those unfamiliar with this resource, what is one part of this resource you wouldn’t want someone to miss?

CP: I would hate for people to miss out on the camaraderie of the group. People well-known (and not-so-well-known) in the field give so freely of their experiences. It really is a wealth of information.

Those interested in subscribing to the NAFCM Network can do so by sending an email to: nafcm-network-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

If you have a favorite resource you would like to share in an upcoming edition of our newsletter and on our blog, please reach out to our Resource Center Director and Court ADR Connection Editor, Nicole Wilmet at nwilmet@aboutrsi.org!

Wisconsin Assembly Considers Bill that Would Require Proposed Parenting Plans to Be Submitted Before Mediation

Nicole Wilmet, May 28th, 2019

In Wisconsin, in any family law cases, including cases where legal custody or physical placement is contested, parties are required to attend at least one session of mediation. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement during this initial mediation session (or if mediation has been waived due to hardship or safety concerns), the parties are then required to file a parenting plan with the court. These parenting plans are required to contain a variety of information including the type of legal custody or physical placement sought, the child support and maintenance needed, as well as information on the parent’s current residence, employment, how the child’s medical expenses will be paid, and a proposed holiday placement schedule for the child.

The Wisconsin Assembly recently introduced a bill that would modify the parenting plan requirements and the timeline for mediation. Under the proposed legislation, each party would be required to submit a proposed parenting plan at least ten days prior to the initial mediation session. As a result, under this new schedule, mediators would discuss the content of these proposed parenting plans with the parties during their initial mediation session. The proposed bill also makes changes to the required contents of the parenting plans. Under the proposed bill, parenting plans would no longer be required to include information on the type of child support and maintenance sought or contain information about how the child’s medical expenses will be paid. Instead, the proposed bill would require parenting plans to include specific details about the various costs expected to be incurred by or on behalf of the child. In a recent video, Representative Robert Brooks and Senator Lena Taylor further discuss this bill, as well as four other proposed bills that address child custody and support.