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Just Court ADR

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Archive for the ‘My Favorite Resource’ Category

My Favorite Resource Featuring Peter Salem

Nicole Wilmet, December 26th, 2018

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Peter Salem, Executive Director of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts to learn about his favorite resource.

NW: What is your favorite ADR Resource?

PS: My favorite ADR resources are my phone and computer, because they contain the contacts for the network that I have developed over the last 30+ years. There are a lot of great blogs, websites, journals, and other print and electronic resources out there, but knowing who to ask often helps me uncover valuable nuggets that I would not have otherwise known about.

NW: How did you develop your network and what recommendations do you have for anyone looking to develop their own network? 

PS: My father preceded me in the field and introduced me to many of his colleagues, so I had a head start. But I also learned from him and expanded my circle. I attended conferences, asked questions, used the telephone instead of email (full disclosure: email did not exist when I started), developed project ideas, and asked for advice and help. I volunteered for everything; newsletters, committees, boards, and conference planning. After a while, I started teaching and training. That’s a lot of extra work on top of a full-time job, and a lot of the money came out of my pocket, but it gave me the opportunity to invite others to teach, write, or work on projects, and they typically said yes. Because I was often part of the planning group, I was invited to the small dinners, etc., when the rock star ADR people came to Wisconsin. I would later see them at national conferences and we would already have a connection, and everything flowed from there. I didn’t plan this, of course. I just took on interesting projects with people I liked. So I guess my recommendation for others looking to establish a network is get involved and do interesting things with interesting people. Start small and locally, and do an amazing job. People notice great work, mediocre work and especially work that is not completed.

NW: In what ways have you found that your network has been better able to serve your needs than a traditional print resource?

PS: I use my network to help solve problems and answer questions, and for me that is an iterative process. Websites and journal articles provide valuable information, but they are just a starting point, not something to be taken at face value. We are in a field that advises people to dig beneath the surface and look at underlying issues. Why wouldn’t I follow that advice when working on my own stuff?

NW: Can you share an example of when you turned to your network for support?

PS: As the executive director of a 5,300-member organization, I frequently get requests for information or referrals that I can’t answer myself. But I have access to a lot of experts and can easily put a handful of names in an email to people with the requisite expertise. People appreciate any answer and are even more excited to get a response from a leading ADR author, researcher or practitioner. Similarly, there are some great listservs out there that serve the same function, albeit in a less targeted fashion. For example, the Bestinterests-talk list is an independent list run by an AFCC member for people in family law/dispute resolution. There is an amazing exchange of information and ideas.

NW: What do you value most about the input you receive from your network? 

PS: The input from my network is always thoughtful, honest, and it comes from experienced professionals with a very high level of expertise. That is invaluable. But what I value even more is that my network exemplifies the incredible generosity of dispute resolution professionals. Throughout my career, leaders in the field have been willing to take the time and effort to help me learn and grow. And to paraphrase my good friend Susan Yates (a long-time member of my network), now that I am more senior in the field, I hope that I am following in their footsteps.

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

My Favorite Resource Featuring Renee Salmon

Nicole Wilmet, December 4th, 2018

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Renee Salmon, Legal Assistant for the Minnesota Judicial Branch Alternative Dispute Resolution Program to learn about her favorite resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

RS: My favorite resource is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts website www.afccnet.org.

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

RS:  I value this resource for three reasons:

  1. The links are almost always up-to-date and relevant. The resources contained on this site involve primarily family law ADR. It is a centralized place to go for guidelines, best practices, news and updates in ADR nationwide.
  2. You do not have to be a member in order to access the links and resources on this site.
  3. The resources on this website are applicable and relevant for both the public and ADR professionals.

NW: How did you first learn about resource?

RS: I can’t remember exactly. I believe I stumbled upon it while researching ADR online. I was already familiar with the association, but was not aware of the vast amounts of helpful resources and articles posted on its site.

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

RS: The tab on the top of the site called “Resource Center”. You will find relevant and up-to-date practice guidelines and standards and resources for both ADR professionals and families in one spot. I have this site in my favorites to refer to when gaining understanding all the flavors of ADR processes used in family law nationwide.

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!

My Favorite Resource Featuring Annalise Buth

Just Court ADR, November 2nd, 2018

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Annalise Buth, M.R. Bauer Foundation Fellow in Dispute Resolution at the Center on Negotiation and Mediation at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Bluhm Legal Clinic to learn about her favorite resource.

NW: What is your favorite resource?

AB: I would like to share about the combination of two restorative justice resources that I value. The first is the book Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community by Kay Pranis, Barry Stuart, & Mark Wedge. It provides an explanation of the theoretical framework of the circle process. The second resource is the guide Heart of Hope by Carolyn Boyes-Watson & Kay Pranis, which provides suggestions and ideas for circles.

NW: Why do you value these particular resources?

AB: Restorative justice theory informs practice, and practice informs theory. The combination of these resources is helpful in building an understanding of theory and supporting practice. I share them with students and others who are interested in learning and developing their skills.

NW: How did you first learn about these resources?

AB: I learned about these resources from a friend who is also a circle facilitator. Ultimately, my relationships with others are my most valuable resource.

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

AB: There is a section of appendices in Heart of Hope that includes examples of circle openings, closings, check-ins, topics and round prompts. The examples can be adapted for different situations and needs.

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

My Favorite Resource Featuring Catherine Geyer

Just Court ADR, October 1st, 2018

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Catherine Geyer, Manager of the Dispute Resolution Section, Supreme Court of Ohio, to learn about her favorite resource.

NW: What is your favorite ADR Resource?

CG: My favorite resource is my network of experienced and talented dispute resolution colleagues from Ohio and across the country. I am fortunate to be minutes away from one of the top-ranked dispute resolution programs in the country at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Ohio is fortunate to have a wealth of experienced, dedicated and knowledgeable dispute resolution professionals at OSU and throughout the state. On a regular basis, usually quarterly and over the lunch hour, we meet to discuss dispute resolution developments and challenges with the law professors, mediators and other dispute resolution professionals. Also, throughout the year, the Supreme Court of Ohio Dispute Resolution Section conducts roundtables with the court-connected dispute resolution professionals. Through these regular, planned meetings and roundtables we discuss trends, statewide rules, ethics, and the gamut of dispute resolution topics.

In addition, I am a member of the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Section and Court ADR Committee which both have a collective knowledge on dispute resolution that fills courthouses across the nation and the world. To my great fortune, those individuals are generous with their thought, time, energy, innovation and experience. At the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution’s Annual Spring Conference, there is updated content on a variety of topics including an entire day of content for courts, called the Court Symposium hosted by the ABA’s Court ADR Committee. From my perspective since joining the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Dispute Resolution Section three years ago after many years in the private sector, the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution and Court ADR Committee are akin to a virtual library, absent the Dewey Decimal System, of course.

NW: For those unfamiliar, what do typical quarterly lunches and ABA Court ADR Committee monthly calls look like?

CG: The quarterly lunches are informal and unstructured although I usually jot down some bullet points to talk about in advance and during our discussions. The monthly calls with the ABA Court ADR Committee are more structured and this year’s co-chairs, Alan Weiner from Maryland and Robyn Weinstein from New York, do a great job creating an agenda and focusing on topics that are most important to the members and to the committee’s goals.

NW: Can you recall a time when you turned to this network for support?

CG: Yes, once the network is established, it is easier to contact one another as issues arise. The Ohio colleagues were instrumental in helping with our first statewide dispute resolution conference in March.  The Court ADR Committee had a discussion on one call where everyone was sharing information on their state’s initiatives. One of the members had been working on child protection mediation and offered valuable insights and resources, and then [RSI Executive Director] Susan Yates provided additional information on the same topic. That was helpful to me because in Ohio the Commission on Dispute Resolution recommended a statewide initiative on child protection mediation to address the influx of cases in the juvenile courts related to opioids and other substance abuse issues. Although we have offered child protection mediation in Ohio for a long time, the new information from others on the call brought a fresh perspective on a national level that was useful. The information I learned on our call gave me a direct resource to research and information that I would not have otherwise found so readily.

NW: What do you most value about the input you receive from other court personnel?

CG: So much. The creativity, innovation, passion, experience and collaboration.

NW: In what ways have you found that these resources have been better able to serve your needs than a traditional print resource?

CG: Traditional print resources or online resources are helpful, but there is no substitute for experience. Taking time to establish a network, or taking advantage of an established network like the ABA’s Court ADR Committee, takes academic information and translates it into practical tips and advice. These networks also build camaraderie and a pre-planned, informal place to convene to discuss and explore emerging and challenging topics. I am grateful for these networks and encourage others to take advantage of them.

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

My Favorite Resource Featuring Kevin Malone

Nicole Wilmet, August 29th, 2018

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. This month, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with Kevin Malone, RSI’s Program Manager for the 16th Circuit Kane County Child Protection and Foreclosure Mediation Programs to learn about his favorite ADR resource.

NW: What is your favorite ADR Resource?

KM: I have several that I rely on, but the one I return to time and again is The Making of a Mediator by Michael Lang and Alison Taylor.

NW: Why do you value this particular resources?

KM: This book provides a great process for bridging the gap between theory and practice. Lang and Taylor provide tools to figure out what a mediator is good at, what they need to work on, and how to find that sweet spot between developing a mediator’s skills and tapping into a mediator’s talents.

NW: How did you first learn about this resources?

KM: It was assigned reading for my graduate work at the University of Denver’s Center for Conflict Resolution. I revisited the book when I began working as a co-mediator for our Child Protection Mediation Program.

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

KM: Lang and Taylor have a chapter that walks the reader through their “constellation of theories”. A mediator will be able to figure out what theories they have tucked away and how those theories impact their practice of mediation. I have found this to be a very powerful tool in self-assessment and recommend all the mediators in my program at least once try something similar.

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