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Just Court ADR

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Support RSI this Holiday Season

Susan M. Yates, December 22nd, 2020

Dear friend of RSI,

What can I say about 2020 that hasn’t been said? From a global pandemic to economic instability, from political division to the fight for social justice, this year has seen more than its fair share of turbulence.

Amidst these storms of conflict, RSI continues to work to increase access to justice through enhanced court ADR by:

  • conducting mediations for foreclosure and child protection cases via video connections
  • evaluating court online dispute resolution (ODR) programs remotely
  • convening national experts on family ODR to explore how ODR can best serve thinly-resourced parents, courts and communities
  • designing a remote foreclosure mediation program in preparation for an expected flood of eviction cases 

Courts look to RSI for innovation and guidance. And RSI responds, providing mediation services, designing cutting-edge systems to serve families during crises, conducting incisive evaluations and offering reliable court ADR resources. RSI focuses on the issues that most effect individuals and families, such as, foreclosure, eviction, child protection and divorce. 

As we all weather the storms that are buffeting us, RSI needs your support more than ever. Please make a contribution to help RSI serve the parties, courts and communities that look to us for innovation and guidance to deal with the massive disruption caused by COVID-19. You can go online to contribute or mail your contribution to RSI, 11 East Adams St., Suite 500, Chicago, Illinois 60603. 

On behalf of everyone RSI will help, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Susan M. Yates

Executive Director

The Twelve Hours of Conflict ⏰

Susan M. Yates, December 16th, 2020

In what has become a holiday tradition at RSI, here is my ADR-themed parody of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Happy holidays!

For the first hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me a round table with a great view

For the second hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the third hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the fourth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the fifth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me five as-pir-in
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the sixth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me six tested realities
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the seventh hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me seven caucuses
Six tested reality
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the eighth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me eight explored BATNAs
Seven caucuses
Six tested reality
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the ninth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me nine fresh perspectives
Eight explored BATNAs
Seven caucuses
Six tested reality
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the tenth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me ten brainstorms
Nine fresh perspectives
Eight explored BATNAs
Seven caucuses
Six tested reality
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the eleventh hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me eleven cookie breaks
Ten brainstorms
Nine fresh perspectives
Eight explored BATNAs
Seven caucuses
Six tested reality
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

For the twelfth hour of conflict, my neutral gave to me twelve resolved issues
Eleven cookie breaks
Ten brainstorms
Nine fresh perspectives
Eight explored BATNAs
Seven caucuses
Six tested reality
Five aspirin
Four mirrored feelings
Three paraphrases
Two succinct summaries
And a round table with a great view

Have a great New Year!

RSI’s Complete “Guide to Program Success” Now Available!

Susan M. Yates, September 15th, 2020

As the pandemic wears on, courts have been transitioning services online and exploring how ADR and ODR can aid their communities in new ways. Given the challenging nature of the situation, I am pleased to share a newly completed resource from RSI that can help.

RSI’s entire Guide to Program Success is now available both online and for individual download. Together, RSI’s Director of Research Jennifer Shack and I wrote this step-by-step guide on how to design, manage and evaluate a court ADR program. Each chapter of the guide contains an in-depth examination of an element of program success. Topics include:

  • Why a court ADR program may be beneficial
  • How to gather a planning team
  • Exploring the legal and ADR environment
  • Articulating program goals
  • Figuring out budgets and funding
  • Applying standards for court ADR
  • Deciding which ADR process to use
  • Designing mechanics of an ADR program
  • Selecting and managing neutrals
  • Writing court rules
  • Designing systems to track the program
  • Creating court program forms
  • Launching a court ADR program
  • Managing a court ADR program
  • Evaluating a court ADR Program

This guide can be used for any type of court ADR process and may be used at any stage of a court ADR program. If you are responsible for a court ADR program or are looking to design a new court ADR program, this is the guide you need.

We hope that this resource is valuable in your work. If you are able to support Resolution Systems Institute, please make a donation. As we all struggle to do our best in challenging times, your support is deeply appreciated.

Susan M. Yates

Executive Director

Resolution Systems Institute

Guiding Dispute Resolution into the Future: Read RSI’s 2019 Annual Report

Susan M. Yates, April 24th, 2020

Hello Friend of RSI,

Even as COVID-19 has yet to crest, the adjectives associated with it such as “unprecedented” and “uncertain” – are becoming increasingly uniform. The adjective most associated with the future – at least in my mind – is “unknowable.” 

So, what do we do? First, at RSI we express gratitude. We are grateful that our staff can safely work from home. And we are grateful that – thanks to our steadfast supporters – we can continue to make a significant contribution in a struggling society. 

Next, we figure out how to apply our expertise to make the most meaningful contribution. As you will see from our Annual Report for 2019, much of our work recently has focused on how technology can help improve access to justice. The current situation calls for us to leverage that expertise to do our best to help courts through this unprecedented, uncertain time.

Improving access to justice through court ADR and ODR is not as fundamental as food, shelter and medical care. Nonetheless, a reliable and accessible justice system is essential to a functioning society. If you are able to support, please make a donation to Resolution Systems Institute. Your support will enable us to continue guiding courts as we all face an unknowable future.

Be well,

Susan M. Yates

RSI Executive Director

Support RSI this Holiday

Susan M. Yates, December 16th, 2019

Dear friend of RSI,

With the giving season upon us, I want to tell you about how Resolution Systems Institute is directly and profoundly helping people through mediation services – and ask for your support. These services are some of many ways RSI helps improve access to justice by enhancing court ADR.

Did you know that along with our research, resources, evaluation and dispute system design services,RSI operates two foreclosure mediation programs and a child protection mediation program in northern Illinois?

The media may not be covering foreclosure any more, but many homeowners who experience job loss, high medical expenses and divorce still find themselves in danger of losing their homes. In Kane and Lake counties, RSI works with homeowners, lawyers, lenders, the court and experienced mediators to help work out whether there is a way for homeowners to retain their homes. This past year, our programs served 423 homeowners, resulting in 83 homes saved from foreclosure.

RSI also works to help keep children safe and minimize their time in foster care. Through our Child Protection Mediation program in Kane County, RSI brings together volunteer mediators to help families and social workers achieve those goals. Here’s what one party said after a mediation: “I was finally able to talk to [the other party] as an equal and I feel like they finally heard me. I don’t think I could have done this without [the mediators’] help.”

We are grateful for the support we receive from the courts and from funders like the Illinois Bar Foundation for these programs. But those do not cover all the costs of these programs. Your donation will support access to justice through mediation and through RSI’s research, resources, evaluation and dispute system design programs.

Please make a contribution to RSI. We are a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. You will be helping families and homeowners and supporting everything else RSI does to improve access to justice through court ADR.

Thank you!

Susan M. Yates