Resources / Study / Innovation for Court ADR

Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Archive for the ‘My Favorite Resource’ Category

My Favorite Resource Featuring James Alifni

Nicole Wilmet, October 1st, 2019

Our series My Favorite Resource, features interviews with ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resources. This month, I spoke with James Alfini, RSI Board Member and Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law, to learn about his favorite resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

JA: My favorite resource is the Center for Judicial Ethics (CJE) at the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The Director of the CJE is Cynthia Gray who had been at the helm for well over twenty years when the CJE was located at the American Judicature Society. When AJS was dissolved a few years ago, soon after it had celebrated its 100th anniversary, Cindy Gray and the CJE moved to the NCSC.

NW: How did you first learn about the Judicial Ethics Center?

JA: I worked at the American Judicature Society (AJS) in the 1970s and 1980s and helped to organize the Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations, the predecessor of the Center for Judicial Ethics. AJS, as the premier court reform organization in the twentieth century, had been the catalyst for the establishment of state judicial conduct organizations to receive, investigate, and prosecute charges of judicial misconduct. These were viewed as necessary counterparts to judicial independence to insure that judges were not only independent but accountable to the public and would be held to high standards of conduct. The first judicial conduct organization was established in California in 1961. There are now state level judicial disciplinary organizations in every state and the District of Columbia. The CJE serves a very valuable function in reviewing and cataloging the decisions of the judicial conduct organizations and state high courts. These decisions are based on the judicial ethics rules adopted in each state, and usually referred to as the code of judicial conduct for that state.

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

JA: The Center for Judicial Ethics is the national clearinghouse for information on judicial ethics and discipline. It is an essential resource for the state judicial conduct organizations in researching instances of judicial misconduct and applying relevant provisions of the code of judicial conduct. It is also the key resource for me and my co-authors of our treatise, Judicial Conduct and Ethics, which is currently in its 5th edition. The CJE also publishes the Judicial Conduct Reporter and other materials on judicial ethics. It responds each year to numerous inquiries from citizens, journalists, lawyers, court administrators and judges. Every other year CJE holds a national conference on judicial conduct and ethics.

NW: What interests you most about judicial ethics?

JA: In a democratic society, it is essential that we have an impartial judiciary of great integrity. That is, a judiciary that is beyond reproach and worthy of the public trust. Standards of judicial ethics permit us to hold our judges accountable and thus worthy of that public trust. It is an essential tool in holding judges accountable for their actions and is thus an important counterpart to the independent judiciary we value in a democratic society.

NW: For those unfamiliar with the Judicial Ethics Center, what’s one aspect of the Center that you wouldn’t want someone new to the resource to miss?

JA: For my colleagues in the court ADR field, I would stress that there are intersections between judicial ethics and court ADR. For example, a provision in the code of judicial conduct in most states requires judges to make appointments impartially and avoid the appearance of favoritism. This would include the appointment of mediators and other dispute resolvers. In Texas, ethical concerns about judicial selection of mediators (often turning on whether the mediator contributed to the judge’s re-election campaign) prompted the passing of a state statute, which mirrored the ethics rule (requiring fairness and transparency in the selection of mediators). The CJE thus offers the court ADR community an important resource on judicial ethics rules and cases.

My Favorite Resource Featuring D.G. Mawn

Nicole Wilmet, July 23rd, 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 D.G. Mawn, National Association of Community Mediation, to learn about his favorite resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

DM: One of my favorite resources is the NAFCM On Demand webinars.

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

DM: The On Demand feature is great for several reasons. First, if I am not able to listen in on the second Thursday of the month, I can listen to the webinars at times that are convenient for me.  Secondly, I get a second chance to listen and hear things I generally miss the first time. Thirdly, the On Demand feature helps me with an easy tool for training inspiration. There are 85 webinars presently housed for continual usage.

NW: How did you first learn about this resource?

DM: I first learned of this resource when I joined NAFCM in 2011 and listened to the webinar provided by Elaine Dickhoner, “Put Community First in Your Mediation Center,” in early 2012.

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

DM: The opportunity for continual learning, both as a listener and as a presenter. NAFCM webinars include a wide range of presenters, many of whom are practitioners in the field of community mediation. If you have something you want to share, please contact NAFCM to let them know. This is a great platform for expanding knowledge and creating connections.

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!

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!

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!

My Favorite Resource Featuring Robyn Weinstein

Nicole Wilmet, May 1st, 2019

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite ADR resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Robyn Weinstein, ADR Administrator at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, to learn about her favorite resource.

NW: What is your favorite ADR resource?

RW:  One of my favorite ADR resources is the New York City Dispute Resolution Listserv (“NYC DR Listserv”). The NYC DR Listserv was created by Professor Maria Volpe, director of the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College. The NYC DR Listserv is an unmoderated listserv that was developed shortly after 9/11 as a way to connect the dispute resolution community. It has since grown into an information hub (in New York and beyond) for those interested in events, issues and concerns of interest to dispute resolvers. The NYC DR Listserv has several thousand active subscribers and those interested in subscribing can do so by clicking here.

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

RW: The NYC DR Listserv is a powerful way for individuals and organizations to disseminate information about conflict resolution conferences, events, programs, awards, ADR competitions, new initiatives, and various issues that arise in the dispute resolution community. The NYC DR Listserv is an effective resource for those looking for information about trainings, symposia, networking events, and job opportunities. (The job I have currently was posted on this listserv.)  Some of the job opportunities are in New York City, but many of the opportunities are located around the world. I also value this resource because many of the members of the listserv are active and passionate about the field.

NW: How did you first learn about this resource?

RW: I first learned about this Listserv while I was a student at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. At the time, I was a participant in the law school’s mediation clinic and was interested in learning about opportunities in dispute resolution.

NW: For those unfamiliar with this resource, what is the best way to use it?

RW: I would recommend signing up for the digest version of the Listserv, as there are several posts daily. Also, as is the case with many listservs, conversation threads can “heat up” resulting in lengthy back and forth discussions. The digest culls together all of the subject lines of each e-mail and makes it easier to skim through the listserv activity and choose the topics that are most relevant to you. Periodically, Professor Volpe sends out annual list of trainings and events, which gives a great overview of the breadth of conflict resolution activity in New York and beyond.

NW: Are there any other resources you enjoy that you would also like to mention?

RW: A burgeoning resource that I also wanted to share is the ADR Inclusion Network. The ADR Inclusion Network is a group of individuals dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of ADR. The network members meet regularly and have begun to compile listings of events, articles and research relating to diversity in dispute resolution. The network also maintains a listserv where members of the network can post events, speaking opportunities, and share information and updates regarding their respective diversity and inclusion initiatives and efforts. Those interested in joining the network may do so here.

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