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RSI Presents “Building Your Court’s Civil ADR Program” Workshop Series

Just Court ADR, February 21st, 2020

Resolution Systems Institute is pleased to share a three-part series entitled Building Your Court’s Civil ADR Program. These three videos are from an October 2019 training RSI’s Executive Director Susan Yates presented in New Mexico. RSI thanks the Judicial Branch of New Mexico for hosting the seminar and making these videos available.   

About the Three Video Sessions:

Session 1: Design Your Program

This session addresses the importance of seeking input and how to develop support for the project. Susan discusses how to decide on which ADR process to use by addressing topics such as whether participation should be mandatory and whether the program should focus on any particular types of cases. Susan also discusses issues from budgeting to how to serve self-represented litigants.

Session 2: Work with the Neutrals in Your Program

This session covers questions from how to find neutrals to how to remove them from your program. Topics include setting neutral qualifications, picking neutrals, training neutrals and selecting neutrals for particular cases. The session also covers neutral ethics, retaining neutrals, continuing education and designing a complaint process. Susan discusses how to decide how much to pay neutrals and the costs and benefits of paid vs. volunteer neutrals.

Session 3: Administer, Track, Evaluate and Promote Your Program

This session focuses on how to manage a court program and ensure it provides quality services. This requires identifying the person who will wake up every morning with the goal of making the program work; figuring out how to collect the data needed to monitor the program and present it to decision-makers; arranging for evaluation of the program at appropriate intervals; and ensuring stakeholders continue to value the program.

RSI Staff Gather in Chicago and Visit the Adler Planetarium

Just Court ADR, February 20th, 2020

This month, our staff gathered in our Chicago office for our annual winter gathering! In the morning our staff met to discuss our 2020 goals and projects and in the afternoon, we braced the cold Chicago weather to visit the Adler Planetarium.

Although some of us are based in our Chicago office, our RSI staff are also hard at work operating programs across Illinois and working remotely from Maine and Michigan. As such, our winter gathering is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together and connect in one place!

RSI Evaluating Online Dispute Resolution

Just Court ADR, January 30th, 2020

Resolution Systems Institute is pleased to announce that we are partnering with the University of California, Davis, (UC Davis) and The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) to evaluate certain small claims court online dispute resolution (ODR) programs in Hawaii and Texas. These programs enable parties involved in small claims matters to negotiate online and, if needed, receive online mediation services to attempt to resolve their case. These programs could eliminate the need for some parties to appear in physical courthouses.

This evaluation examines the impact of ODR on litigants and courts. For litigants, the focus will be on access to justice, with an eye toward determining whether certain groups in society tend to experience the benefits or costs associated with ODR more than others. To that end, the study will explore, among other questions, whether ODR reduces the time stress on parties; affects case outcomes; improves litigants’ use of court procedures and navigation of court rules; and increases users’ sense of procedural fairness. The study will also look at the effect ODR has on court efficiency, such as time from filing to resolution, the number of hearings held and staff time spent per case.

ODR is increasingly being adopted by courts in the United States, but there have not been neutral, empirical studies before this evaluation and other concurrent evaluations in partnership with Pew. An initial report is expected in mid-2021.

“We are excited for this opportunity to bring rigorous empirical research to the nascent field of court ODR,” said Susan M. Yates, RSI Executive Director. “While we are hopeful that ODR can improve access to justice, we will await the results to see what we learn.”

Resolution Systems Institute’s principal investigator for the project is Jennifer Shack, Director of Research, the go-to evaluator for court ADR in the US. The principal investigator for the overall project is Dr. Donna Shestowsky of the UC Davis School of Law; she is a nationally recognized scholar in alternative dispute resolution.

Olga Ivari and Kevin Malone Celebrate 6 Years at RSI!

Just Court ADR, December 17th, 2019

This year marks six years with RSI for two members of our staff, Olga Ivari and Kevin Malone! Olga and Kevin manage RSI’s mediation programs here in Illinois. Olga is the Program Coordinator for our Lake County Foreclosure Mediation Program and Kevin is the Program Manager for both our Kane County Foreclosure Mediation Program and Child Protection Mediation Program.

Congratulations Olga and Kevin on six years with RSI, we are grateful to you for all of your hard work!

Support RSI this #GivingTuesday

Just Court ADR, December 3rd, 2019

Today is #GivingTuesday!

Please make a donation to help RSI continue to improve access to justice by providing mediation services for child protection and foreclosure in Illinois. Your tax-exempt donation also helps support our research, evaluation, resources and dispute system design for courts across the country!