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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Archive for the ‘People & Events’ Category

RSI Celebrates 24 Years!

Just Court ADR, April 23rd, 2019

Happy birthday to us! On April 22, 2019, RSI celebrated its 24th year of operation!

Thank you to all our staff and supporters for everything you do to make RSI so great. We appreciate your continued support. We look forward to continuing to serve the court ADR community.

RSI Board Member Alyson Carrel Presents at Court-Annexed Mediation Seminar

Nicole Wilmet, March 28th, 2019

In February, RSI Board Member Alyson Carrel was the featured speaker at the Cook County, Illinois, Law Division Court-Annexed Mediation Seminar. Alyson’s presentation entitled “Bringing Technology into the Mediation Room” generated a lively discussion about online dispute resolution. Alyson’s talk touched on the current role technology plays in our daily lives, how legal practitioners are utilizing technology, and the opportunities for mediators to use technology to enhance their mediations.

Director of Research Jennifer Shack Celebrates 20 Years with RSI

Nicole Wilmet, March 25th, 2019

This month marks our Director of Research Jennifer Shack’s 20th anniversary with RSI. During her 20 years here at RSI, Jen has played an integral role not just as a member of RSI, but in the court ADR community as a whole. Jen has worked to cultivate and provide reliable court ADR research and has conducted complex evaluations to help court programs across the country.

In honor of Jen, this month we are revisiting her Get to Know You interview in which she reflects on her time at RSI, her favorite projects, and the greatest challenge she faced when she started working in court ADR. Please join us in congratulating Jen on twenty wonderful years at RSI.

Welcome Alyson Carrel to RSI’s Board of Directors!

Nicole Wilmet, February 26th, 2019

RSI is proud to introduce Alyson Carrel, Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Negotiation and Mediation and Assistant Dean of Law and Technology Initiatives onto our Board of Directors. Ms. Carrel is an active leader, presenter, and trainer in dispute resolution. She currently teaches Negotiation, Mediation Process and Advocacy, Dispute Resolution and a clinical course in Mediation Advocacy.

Since 1993, she has been exploring the process of mediation and how it can benefit under-represented populations and enhance access to justice. Prior to her appointment at Northwestern Law, Ms. Carrel was the Training Director at the Center for Conflict Resolution, one of the nation’s largest and longest-running community mediation centers, where she directed and lectured in the 40-hour mediation skills training and mediated court-referred cases.

RSI is proud to have Ms. Carrel join our Board and we hope you will join us in welcoming her to our organization!

A Look Back on 2018

Nicole Wilmet, December 21st, 2018

What a wonderful year 2018 has been! From court program evaluations and trainings to celebrating Resolution Systems Institute Day, we have had an exciting year and continued to great make strides in serving communities with court alternative dispute resolution! As RSI’s Resource Center Director and Court ADR Connection Editor, I have had the pleasure to share each exciting moment with you this year. To culminate 2018, I am looking back on all of RSI’s monumental moments this year.

This was a hallmark year for AboutRSI.org with several new resources added to our Resource Center. March brought the launch of Mediation Efficacy Studies, the most comprehensive collection of resources on the subject of court alternative dispute resolution effectiveness. This summer, Director of Research Jennifer Shack published her evaluation of Washington, D.C.’s Child Protection Mediation Program, and we shared our Model Tools for Mediator Peer Review.

This fall, we released two new chapters to our Guide to Program Success, a step-by step guide from Executive Director Susan Yates and Jennifer Shack that discusses how to design, manage and evaluate a successful court ADR program. We also collaborated with the National Association for Community Mediation to share a Community Mediation Special Topic that explains the basics of community mediation, explores the relationship between courts and community mediation centers, delves into the important activities of data tracking and evaluation and compiles exemplary studies on the effectiveness of community mediation.

Finally, we rounded out our year of new resources with Jennifer Shack’s program evaluation of the eight foreclosure mediation programs funded by the Illinois Attorney General and developed a digital summary of the evaluation.

In 2018, we also launched our series My Favorite Resource that collects resources from our court ADR friends across the country. I would like to thank Heather Kulp, Debora Denny, Doug Van Epps, Missy Greathouse, Rebecca Price, Raeshann Canady, Kevin Malone, Catherine Geyer, Annalise Buth, Renee Salmon, and Peter Salem for participating in our inaugural year. I have truly enjoyed learning about each of your favorite ADR resources and network groups and I look forward to connecting with more friends this year!

This year was also a milestone year for our foreclosure mediation programs here in Illinois as our five-year grant from the Illinois Attorney General ended. Under the grant, RSI developed and administered foreclosure mediation programs in Illinois’ Lake, Kane, Winnebago, and Boone counties; trained mediators for all Attorney General-funded foreclosure mediation programs throughout the state; developed an online case management and monitoring system for those programs; and conducted two statewide evaluations of the programs. We are happy to report that all three of RSI’s foreclosure mediation programs will continue to operate thanks to the support of their local courts. RSI’s Kevin Malone and Olga Kordonskaya will continue to administer our programs in Kane County and Lake County, respectively, and moving forward, the court will administer the foreclosure mediation program in Winnebago & Boone counties. We consider the continuation of the programs as evidence of their success given that the courts value these programs enough to continue to provide funding for them. We are grateful to the Attorney General for supporting these programs, to the courts for their partnership and to the skilled mediators for conducting the mediations.

Last, but certainly not least, we also celebrated several important events this year. In April, we welcomed Grace Barter as our new Administrative Assistant. On July 11, 2018, Rockford, Illinois Mayor Thomas McNamara declared that day as Resolution Systems Institute Day in honor of RSI’s work on foreclosure mediation in the Rockford community. That same month, we celebrated Kent Lawrence, founder and steadfast supporter of RSI, for receiving the Decalogue Society of Lawyer’s Hon. Gerald C. Bender Humanitarian Award. The Hon. Gerald C. Bender Humanitarian Award is presented to individuals whose excellence and dedication demonstrate commitment to justice by serving the community.

In September, we celebrated our one-year anniversary of the new AboutRSI.org, and Eric Slepak-Cherney was named RSI’s new Associate Director. In November, Jennifer Shack was appointed to the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Research Advisory Committee and this month, Olga Kordonskaya and Kevin Malone celebrated their five-year anniversary with RSI.

As December comes to a close, I know that each of us here at RSI is thankful for a wonderful 2018. We look forward to all that awaits in 2019!