The following articles were authored by RSI staff throughout the years and explore various aspects of court ADR.
Jennifer Shack. Dispute Resolution Magazine, 2003
This article summarizes the findings of 62 studies of court-related mediation regarding cost, pace of litigation and satisfaction. It then discusses ways in which courts can improve the monitoring and evaluation of their mediation programs so that they can better determine whether the programs are achieving the goals set for them, as well as what characteristics lead to the most effective programs.
Copyright 2003 American Bar Association. Reproduced by permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Janet Martinez, Colin Rule, and Susan Yates. World Arbitration and Mediation Review Vol. 12, No. 1, 2018.
Resolving disputes around custody and co-parenting when the two parents are in different countries can be quite challenging. Fortunately, technology can help to bridge the gap and provide effective options for managing and resolving cross-border family disputes. In this paper, the authors introduce some of the concepts from the emerging field of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), and present a framework for Dispute System Design (DSD) to envision how such an online system could operate. The authors then provide a detailed walkthrough of a sample ODR system for building co-parenting agreements and evaluate it using the DSD framework.
Jennifer Shack, New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Fall 2016.
Using the findings from empirical research, this article makes the case that lawyers should remain open to giving mediation a real try when their cases are ordered to mediation and to consider early mediation as a means to increase the probability of settlement and reduce litigation costs. The article also points to the potential of planned early dispute resolution to give parties greater control over the dispute and improve relations with the other side.
Jennifer Shack and Hanna Kaufman. Dispute Resolution Magazine, 2016
This article examines findings from the foreclosure mediation programs RSI administers and evaluates, and extrapolates from them to describe principles that can be adapted for programs addressing future crises, such as the growing student debt problem.
Originally published in Dispute Resolution Magazine, Spring 2016. Further distribution not allowed without express permission of Dispute Resolution Magazine.
Susan M. Yates and Peter Salem. Dispute Resolution Magazine, 2013
This article traces the development of family court ADR from its earliest roots in the 1930s to the present. The article describes social changes that influenced family ADR, including the appearance of no-fault divorce, and the changes they spawned, like shared responsibilities for both parents. The authors include a list of specific family court ADR innovations, such as child inclusive mediation, and conclude with an assessment of the present state of family court ADR, making future recommendations for the field.
Originally published in Dispute Resolution Magazine, Fall 2013. Further distribution not allowed without express permission of Dispute Resolution Magazine.
Heather Scheiwe Kulp. Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2013
This article studies how courts refer self-represented parties to small claims mediation. After reviewing small claims mediation programs in communities with different population sizes across the United States, six referral models were identified. Variables included whether ADR was required or suggested, when it was suggested and whether the parties mediated outside the court. The study's findings suggest that different referral models satisfy different court goals. With an earlier referral, settlement rates will be higher. Litigants are more likely to choose mediation if an authority figure briefly educates them about the process, and when mediators are specially prepared to work with pro se litigants, both judges and parties will have more confidence in mediation.
Originally published in Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol.14.2, pp. 361-393 (2013). Further distribution not allowed without express permission of Cardozo School of Law.
Heather Scheiwe Kulp and Jennifer Shack. Probate and Property, 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 RSI Director of Research Jennifer Shack set out to determine. The answer, as discussed in this article, 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.
The authors looked at what factors might influence the effectiveness of a particular program, and they found four characteristics of programs that achieve their goals. These were having clear goals and objectives from the start, good document exchange management, active case management by the neutrals and the inclusion of supplemental services like housing counseling.
Originally published in Probate and Property, November/December 2013. Further distribution not allowed without express permission of Probate and Property.
Heather Scheiwe Kulp and Jennifer Shack. Arkansas Law Review, 2013
In this article, the authors analyze foreclosure dispute resolution program variables to determine whether any factors indicate a program's efficacy. First, the authors provide a brief overview of foreclosure dispute resolution system design and current program goals. Then, the authors enumerate the limited program statistics currently available. The article then discusses what the statistics mean, including the evidence that strong case management is required for high resolution rate. As there is little correlation between other program variables and program success, in large part because of insufficient data and difference in tracking it, the article calls for better, more standardized data collection and reporting. Finally, the authors make recommendations for improving foreclosure dispute resolution programs and outline best practices.
Originally published in Arkansas Law Review, Volume 66, Number 1. Further distribution not allowed without express permission of Arkansas Law Review.
Susan M. Yates and Heather Scheiwe Kulp. ACResolution, 2012
The development of foreclosure dispute resolution programs presents a challenge to the ADR community. Foreclosure requires a different process than other types of mediation programs and legislatures unfamiliar with ADR have drafted statutes that describe a process very different from traditional ADR processes. The article argues that this should be seen as an opportunity for the ADR community. Instead of frustration and rejection of the foreclosure mediation process, mediators should be involved in the legislative process to assist legislators in determining the appropriate ADR processes to address the crisis.
Originally published in ACResolution, Summer 2012. Further distribution not allowed without express permission of ACResolution.
Susan M. Yates and Wayne R. Thorpe. Dispute Resolution Magazine, Winter, 2006
This article discusses the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators as revised in 2005. The article explains how the original standards were developed and the process in which they were revised. The piece then provides a summary of 2005 Model Standards including the preamble, note on construction and each of the nine standards. The article points out and explains each of the major revisions as well as any major points of contention. The full text of the Revised Model Standards is provided.
Hon. Morton Denlow and Jennifer Shack. The Judges' Journal, 2004
This article describes the process by which a settlement conference report is created and the ways in which the judges in the Northern District of Illinois use it and explains how other courts can initiate similar programs.
Copyright 2004 American Bar Association. Reproduced by permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Jennifer Shack and Susan M. Yates. Northern Illinois University Law Review, 2002
This article summarizes the findings of an evaluation of the Lanham Act Mediation Program in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. It then places this evaluation in the context of study design and the importance of evaluation in ensuring a high quality of justice for participants in court mediation programs.
Originally published in Northern Illinois University Law Review, Vol.22, No. 2 (Spring 2002). Further distribution not allowed without express permission of Northern Illinois University School of Law.