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My Favorite Resource Featuring John Lande

Nicole Wilmet, March 20th, 2020

Our series, My Favorite Resource, features interviews with our court ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resource. Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet spoke with John Lande, Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Law, to learn about his favorite ADR resources.

NW:  What are some of your favorite ADR resources?

JL: I have been developing resources throughout my career, and I appreciate the opportunity to share these resources designed for practitioners, academics and students. I developed the following resources on my own or in collaboration with various colleagues.

My website includes practical forms I developed when I was in practice, materials for teaching courses, links to ADR resources and links to my publications. Readers can download for free my articles and a new edited book, Theories of Change for the Dispute Resolution Movement: Actionable Ideas to Revitalize Our Movement. The website also includes information about my two books published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution: Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment: Help Your Clients Make Good Litigation Decisions (with Michaela Keet and Heather Heavin) andLawyering with Planned Early Negotiation: How You Can Get Good Results for Clients and Make Money.

The Dispute Resolution Resources for Legal Education (DRLE) website, hosted by the University of Missouri School of Law, provides a wealth of resources for law school faculty including an extensive collection of syllabi for a wide range of courses, teaching materials, a list of dispute resolution programs at American law schools, links to other resources and information about the DRLE listserv.

The Stone Soup Dispute Resolution Knowledge Project is part of the DRLE website with lots of additional resources. It is designed to promote collaboration by faculty, students, scholars, practitioners, educational institutions and professional associations to produce, disseminate and use valuable qualitative data about actual dispute resolution practice. It provides an extensive collection of materials to (1) help faculty develop course assignments requiring students to learn about dispute resolution in real life and (2) help generate knowledge from student competitions and continuing education programs. It also includes a “mini-course” of blog posts about research on dispute resolution and how faculty can incorporate Stone Soup in their courses and scholarship.

The Legal Education, ADR, and Practical Problem-Solving (LEAPS) Project of the ADR in Law Schools Committee of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution is designed to help faculty incorporate “practical problem-solving” (PPS) into a wide range of courses, including doctrinal, litigation, transactional and ADR courses. The website provides descriptions of various teaching methodologies, suggestions for how to engage colleagues in teaching more PPS in their courses, “talking points” for discussing the incorporation of PPS into doctrinal courses, a survey of how schools integrate PPS skills in their curricula, lists of consultants who can help with specific courses, suggestions for making discussions with faculty as productive as possible, examples of course exercises, approaches to introducing PPS in doctrinal courses and teaching materials and links to relevant resources on other websites.

The Planned Early Dispute Resolution (PEDR) Project of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution promotes use of planned early dispute resolution techniques by lawyers and clients at the earliest appropriate time. The website includes the PEDR user guide, separate powerpoints for talks to groups of lawyers and business people and suggestions for speakers.

This post includes resources from the 2016 University of Missouri symposium, Moving Negotiation Theory from the Tower of Babel Toward a World of Mutual Understanding. It includes the articles from the symposium, an annotated reading list, blog posts with “virtual book club” conversations discussing the readings and videos of the symposium sessions.

More generally, I like the Indisputably blog, where I am one of nine bloggers writing about a wide range of dispute resolution issues. The bloggers are all law school faculty but many of the posts should be of interest to a wide variety of others interested in dispute resolution.

I also want to mention a different kind of resource. Since 1993, I have been taking photos of friends and colleagues at ADR events and I posted a collection of photo albums from these events. Our sense of identity in belonging to our wonderful community is an important resource and looking at photos of us is a great way to appreciate it.

NW:  Why do you value these resources?

JL: I’m a teacher and coach at heart and I want to help people learn cool and non-obvious insights, gain important skills and help others in turn. These resources don’t claim to provide the “best” or “right” way to analyze things or to act. Rather they provide ideas and options for people to consider as they make their own decisions.

NW: Can you share a time when you turned to one of these resources for either insight or to assist you in your work and how it was helpful to you?

JL: As a professor, the collection of syllabi was especially helpful to see how other faculty taught their courses. This gave me ideas about how to structure my courses and what readings to assign.

NW: You have such an impressive collection of resources here. What advice would you give to someone who is either just starting or hoping to develop a collection of reliable ADR resources?

JL: The goal of a resource developer should be to help people do what they want to do. So, I would think about what people need in particular situations and what could help them achieve their goals and solve their problems. It helps to have been in the situation, which enables one to better understand others’ needs and what would be most helpful.

People have limited attention spans, so it’s important to be as concise as possible while providing the key material that people need. Generally, eliminate unnecessary words, use short sentences and paragraphs whenever appropriate and leave “white space’ to make it easier for readers to grasp the ideas. I try to write in plain English, spiced with a dash of humor. Here’s a post with more suggestions for writing well.

My Favorite Resource Featuring Joel Shapiro

Nicole Wilmet, March 4th, 2020

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 Joel Shapiro, Chief Circuit Mediator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Mediation Program, to learn about his favorite resource.

NW: What is your favorite ADR resource?

JS: For information, I turn to RSI. (Seriously, there is no better source to keep up with developments in ADR in Illinois and around the country.) For insight and guidance, I turn to my immediate professional community – the cadre of forty to fifty mediators who work full-time for the federal appellate and district courts. We are few enough to feel connected and to call on one another when the need arises. Of course, the closest to hand are my fellow Seventh Circuit Mediators. We consult informally on a daily basis and have lunch together once a week to make sure we stay in touch. 

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

JS: Confidentiality is fundamental in mediation, even more so when mediation is conducted under the aegis of the court. Dilemmas regarding confidentiality arise from time to time, requiring principled and pragmatic responses. Years ago, I was subpoenaed to give testimony and produce my notes in a state court action to enforce a settlement I had mediated. In addition to consulting the Judiciary’s Office of Legal Counsel and the leadership of my court, I asked colleagues in other circuits how they had responded to similar demands. Those conversations reinforced my own belief that I must not comply with the subpoena unless directed to do so by the Court of Appeals. I requested representation from the Office of the U.S. Attorney, which removed the subpoena to federal district court and successfully moved to quash it. 

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

JS: Whatever the commonalities among mediators and mediations, performing this work as court staff is a specialized role. My counterparts in the other federal courts share that experience and an outlook rooted in the utmost respect for judicial institutions. They “know the territory.” Their collective wisdom is not available in traditional print resources.  Perhaps it should be.

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

JS: The input I receive from my network is generous, honest, on-point, and well-informed. I know I can count on my “posse.”

NW: How did you develop your network and what would you recommend for someone looking to develop their network?

JS: In the performance of their regular duties, Chief Circuit Mediators meet at least once a year and confer intermittently by phone and email. The entire corps of federal appellate and district court staff mediators meets biennially for a three-day workshop sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center. These periodic meetings are the trellis on which our network has developed. In addition, I host monthly conference calls that are in the nature of “self-reflective practice” conversations. Those sessions, populated by eight or ten colleagues at a time, provide an opportunity to think deeply about our work, help one another “brainstorm” about particular day-to-day challenges, and continually reaffirm the values and friendships that bind us together. 

If someone were looking to develop a network of mutually supportive ADR practitioners, I would suggest they form a self-reflective practice group – it could be as few as three or four colleagues – whose shared professional experience and values can create a foundation of trust.  Mediators who have done this find it to be not only informative but invigorating. Anyone who would like to tap into my thoughts about “self-reflective practice” is welcome to contact me at

My Favorite Resource Featuring Howard Herman

Nicole Wilmet, February 4th, 2020

Our series My Favorite Resource, features interviews with ADR friends across the country to learn about their favorite resources. This month, I spoke with Howard Herman, Director of the ADR Program for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, to learn about his favorite ADR resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

HH: One of my favorite resources is the book Bringing Peace Into the Room, edited by Daniel Bowling and David Hoffman.

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

HH:  The book is particularly valuable because it consists of a series of short, approachable essays concerning the qualities that make a truly effective mediator. The book links theory to practice in a direct, easily understandable way. Rather than prescriptions about what all mediators should do, the book provides a set of examples of practitioners authentically developing their own approaches grounded in their awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses. I was particularly moved by the essay “Tears” by David Hoffman, which helped me change my approach to the emotions I feel when I’m mediating.

NW: How did you first learn about this resource?

HH:  I first became aware of this book right when it came out – back in 2003 – but it remains every bit as relevant today.

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

HH: A particular feature, not to be missed, is the inclusion of stimulating and challenging reflective practice questions at the conclusion of each essay. For the past 15+ years, I’ve led reflective practice groups for the mediators on the panel of the Northern District of California. The questions raised by Bringing Peace Into the Room continue to guide many of the discussions we have each month as mediators examine their cases in an effort to improve their practices.

My Favorite Resource: A Year in Review

Nicole Wilmet, December 20th, 2019

It’s hard to believe that another year of My Favorite Resource has gone by! Much like last year, I have had such a wonderful time connecting with ADR friends across the country to learn about a wide variety of helpful and informative resources. In the spirit of sharing and reminiscing, I thought what better way to get the season started than by revisiting with all the My Favorite Resource readers all the wonderful resources from this year! Sit back, grab a cup of cocoa, and let’s begin!

  • In January,Sally Campbell, the Dispute Resolution Services Manager for the Supreme Court of Virginia, who shared about Appellate Mediation: A Guidebook for Attorneys and Mediators.
  • In February, Tom Valenti, dispute resolution professional and founder of Valenti Law, shared that his favorite resource is the Kluwer Mediation Blog.
  • In March, Tracy Johnson, the Executive Director at the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, shared that one of her favorite resources is the network of colleagues she has developed through the Georgia Council of Court Administrators.
  • In April, Robyn Weinstein, ADR Administrator at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, shared her love of the New York City Dispute Resolution Listserv.
  • In May, Christine Poulson, Executive Director at Resolution Virginia, shared that her favorite resource is the National Association for Community Mediation’s (NAFCM) email listserv.
  • In June, Sharon Sturges, Director of the Colorado Judicial branch Office of Dispute Resolution, shared about the National Center for State Courts website and publications.
  • In July, D.G. Mawn, NAFCM, shared his love of NAFCM’s On Demand webinars.
  • In September, James Alfini, RSI Board Member and Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law, shared that his favorite resource is the Center for Judicial Ethics at the National Center for State Courts.
  • In October, Alyson Carrel, RSI Board Member and Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Negotiation and Mediation, shared that her favorite ADR resource is the Dispute Resolution Resources for Legal Educators section of the University of Missouri Law School’s Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution website.
  • In November, Cassie Lively, Executive Director at the Center for Conflict Resolution, shared about NAFCM’s Virtual Library.

Last, but not least, I thought I would share my favorite resource to cap of the year. One of my favorite ADR resources from this year has been The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr. I have been passionate about restorative justice for a few years and I first came across this resource shortly before I completed circle training this year. I value this resource because I think it is a tremendous guide for anyone interested in restorative justice that provides a nice overview of the principles and goals of restorative practice. As a somewhat novice to this subject when I picked up this resource, I felt that Zehr’s book deepened my understanding of the basics and theory behind restorative justice. For those unfamiliar with this resource, I would recommend reviewing Zehr’s definition of restorative justice (pg. 37), as well as his list of what restorative justice is not (pgs. 8-13).

Thank you again to each of the participants in this year’s series! To the readers of My Favorite Resource, I hope this year’s haul of resources leads you to discover your new favorite resource!

If you are interested in sharing a resource in 2020, please contact me at

My Favorite Resource Featuring Cassie Lively

Nicole Wilmet, December 2nd, 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 Cassie Lively, Executive Director at the Center for Conflict Resolution, to learn about her favorite ADR resource.

NW: What is one of your favorite ADR resources?

CL:  My favorite resource is the Virtual Library offered by the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM).

NW: Why do you value this particular resource?

CL:  NAFCM provides a range of resources for community mediation centers, and the virtual library is one that I reference all the time. There are great tools for new community mediation centers that are developing their governance structure and policies. For more established centers like the Center for Conflict Resolution, there are program-specific resources, training tools, and ideas for expansion and best practices. NAFCM is always looking for new additions to the resource center, so if you have simulations, evaluations, best practices, case studies, or anything else to share, please e-mail 

NW: How did you first learn about this resource?

CL:  CCR has been a NAFCM member center for many years. When I was first training as a case manager at CCR, I used NAFCM tools as I was learning more about community mediation, and have always been grateful for their resources over the years as CCR has expanded our mediation programs. This year, I am fortunate to be serving as co-chair of NAFCM’s Board.

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

CL: Toolkits from NAFCM’s grant program, funded by the JAMS Foundation, are a highlight of the Virtual Library. Toolkits cover topics including branding for community mediation centers, legislative advocacy, building mediation programs to work with veterans, program sustainability, and working in partnership with law enforcement. The newest resource, on working with older adult populations, just became available. The great thing about the resources that are built through this program is how timely they are – each year, a group of community mediation centers works on a project that is very relevant for the field and for the clients we serve.

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