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Just Court ADR

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RSI Receives Eviction Mediation Grant

Susan M. Yates, March 29th, 2021

The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation recently awarded RSI a grant of more than $30,000 to help support RSI’s eviction mediation program in Kane County, Illinois, and our outreach to 14 Illinois judicial circuits, encompassing 39 counties, in central and northern Illinois. For both aspects of this grant, RSI will draw on our decades of experience designing and evaluating court mediation programs.

RSI has been working closely with the court and stakeholders in Kane County since last year in preparation for an expected influx of eviction cases when moratoriums expire. During the grant period, which runs from March 15, 2021 through June 30, 2021, we will reach out to other courts about their interest in eviction mediation, and offer technical assistance to help design programs as needed. 

If you live or work in a northern or central Illinois county and are interested in eviction mediation in your community, please reach out to RSI at info@aboutRSI.org

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