The topics and resources provided here take into account that judges play a variety of roles in court ADR programs. Resources here are divided by role: creators or managers of court ADR programs, gatekeepers for individual cases going into ADR processes, practitioners of ADR-style settlement skills for their own cases, and policymakers.
- How to design a court ADR program
- How to write rules for a court ADR program
- How to obtain funding for new programs
- Where to find sample forms
- How to provide for a quality program
Good resources to start answering those questions are:
- RSI's Guide to Program Succes - RSI's Guide steps courts through each aspect of the program development process, including standards, funding, neutrals, and rules.
- Guidelines for Child Protection Mediation - These guidelines review best practices for child protection mediation and lay out guiding principles, provide strategies for program design and conducting mediation sessions, and offer suggestions for monitoring and evaluating programs.
- "Family Court Improvement and the Art of Grantsmanship: A Judge's Perspective" by Hon. Judith L. Kreeger - Provides lessons and tips for courts that plan to obtain funds through a grant application.
- National Standards for Court-Connected Mediation Programs – These annotated standards can be used as a handy checklist for mediation programs.
- "Enough Rules Already! Making Ethical Dispute Resolution a Reality" by Charles Pou – Questions the ability of rules to respond to ethical questions and instead proposes greater systemic guidance to mediators so that they can better understand their ethical obligations.
- "Take It or Leave It. Lump It or Grieve It: Designing Mediator Complaint Systems that Protect Mediators, Unhappy Parties, Attorneys, Courts, the Process, and the Field" by Paula M. Young - Compares the grievance systems in place in eight states and discusses the necessary components to a well-designed system.
- How to maintain the quality of the neutrals on their court rosters
- How to monitor and report on what is happening in a court ADR program
- How to evaluate the effects and effectiveness of a court ADR program
- Mediator Ethical Breaches: Implications for Public Policy - This article suggests necessary components for a court-connected mediation program to meet its public policy goals. These suggested components include establishing an ethical standard for mediators, qualifications that can identify "qualified" mediators, and a grievance process to remove "unethical" mediators from the "qualified" mediator list.
- RSI's Model Tools for Mediator Peer Review - This is a set of documents that any court mediation program can use to implement a process for having neutrals candidly assess one another's performance.
- "Monitoring and Evaluating Court-Based Dispute Resolution Programs: A Guide for Judges and Court Managers" by Melinda Ostermeyer and Susan L. Keilitz – Offers guidance on each stage of the process of monitoring and evaluation.
- Program Evaluation Kit: Victim Offender Mediation Programs by Mark Umbreit – Concentrates on survey questions to ask participants in victim offender mediation.
- "Mediation Can Bring Gains, But Under What Conditions?" by Jennifer Shack – Discusses ways to better determine the conditions under which mediation is effective.
- How to know which cases are most appropriate for mediation
- How to encourage attorneys to use ADR
- Guide to Judicial Management of Cases in ADR by Robert Niemic, et al. – Offers guidance to judges in federal courts on when and how to refer cases.
- "For Judges: Suggestions About What to Say About ADR at Case Management Conferences - and How to Respond to Concerns or Objections Raised by Counsel" by Hon. Wayne Brazil -Provides judges with ideas on how to respond to common concerns when the possibility of using ADR methods is raised.
- How to improve mediation skills
- How to track and use settlement data
- Mediation Advocacy by John Cooley – While no one can learn to mediate from a book, reading about it can help to strengthen one's ability to help settle cases.
- "Judicial Settlement Databases: Development and Uses" by Hon. Morton Denlow and Jennifer Shack – Explains how one court collects and uses information on settlements in judicial settlement conferences to improve future settlements
- "Breaking Impasses in Settlement Conferences: Five Techniques for Resolution" by Hon. Morton Denlow – Tips and strategies for judges in overcoming impasses in settlement confernces.
- Ethics for mediators
- Confidentiality, impartiality, self-determination and conflicts of interest
- Complaint procedures for parties who are dissatisfied
- Situations in which the mediation itself may end up the subject of a legal proceeding
- What other courts are doing in ADR
- Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators – The widely accepted standards developed by the American Bar Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution and the American Arbitration Association.
- Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation – Developed by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, many other sets of standards for ADR in family settings have followed these. AFCC has developed standards for many other types of ADR in family courts, which also may be of interest to judges.
- Florida and Georgia publish their ethics advisory opinions.
- Links to organizations and court offices of court ADR across the country are available in our Resource Center's Court ADR Across the US database.