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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Posts Tagged ‘evaluation’

Maryland and Illinois: A Tale of Two States

Jennifer Shack, May 15th, 2014

As someone working to develop and improve court ADR in Illinois, I have long been envious of the comparatively vast resources available to do this in Maryland. And I’ve also been very interested in what Maryland’s multi-year statewide evaluation of ADR will find.  Recently, the research team involved in the evaluation published its report on Maryland’s ADR landscape. To some extent, the report was eye opening. Despite a Supreme Court that is highly supportive and a statewide organization with ample funding, in some ways the landscape looks very much like Illinois’, where the Supreme Court has not taken a leadership role and funding has been limited and unreliable.  (more…)

What Works in Foreclosure Dispute Resolution?

Jennifer Shack, November 13th, 2013

With foreclosure dispute resolution programs proliferating around the country, the natural question to ask is, “Do they work?” That’s what former RSI staff member Heather Scheiwe Kulp and I set out to determine. The answer, as discussed in our article, “Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Programs: Do They Work?” (Probate and Property, November/December 2013), is that some do and some don’t. Some are achieving what they set out to achieve, at least to some extent. Others aren’t.  What the programs want to achieve varies, though with much overlap. Goals include keeping homeowners in their homes, helping homeowners and lenders come to mutually agreeable resolution, improving judicial efficiency, and so on. (more…)

Montana Overwhelmed by Record Number of Cases; Looks to Innovate

Jennifer Shack, May 7th, 2013

Montana’s civil caseload topped 50,000 last year. That may not seem to be a lot to those in more populated states, but it’s enough to drive the state’s legislature to act. Citing an overwhelmed bench and litigants deprived of “prompt, careful consideration,” the legislature issued a joint resolution that the state evaluate the cost and effectiveness of current court processes and “identify measures that will help improve the administration of justice and promote the nonadversarial resolution of family law disputes.” It’s yet to be seen if the study will be undertaken, as studies requested by the legislature are prioritized at the end of the legislative session.

It’s great to see a state legislature looking to get data on court performance and trying to find evidence-based solutions to what appears to be a problem for the courts. They say necessity is the mother of invention. Here, it appears to be the mother of evaluation as well.

Promoting ADR on the Go

Mary Novak, January 15th, 2013

As the Resource Center Director at RSI, I receive questions about Court ADR and do my best to help people through our extensive database. When the questions have general interest, I like to completely rewrite them and share them with our readers.

Dear Mary,

I travel to courts around the world promoting court-related mediation programs. I can communicate my belief in the power of ADR, but I’d like to back up my passion with some cold, hard facts about actual results from ADR programs across the country.

World Traveler  (more…)

How Do You Deal with the Dilemma of Data Tracking?

Jennifer Shack, February 6th, 2012

So much data, too little time and money. That’s been RSI’s takeaway from courts as we’ve worked with them in Illinois and beyond to develop and improve their ADR programs. We’ve been told one of two things: “We’d love to track our program, but we don’t have anyone who can enter the data.” Or, “We’ve got a whole lot of data, just no way to enter it.” It’s a dilemma we know is difficult to overcome even as we encourage courts to maintain monitoring systems and conduct evaluations so they can keep tabs on how well their program is doing and remain accountable to funders and the public. (more…)