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.
Judges responsible for court ADR program development may ask...
- 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:
- Rule Writing in-Depth – This guide explains what is needed and what to avoid in creating court ADR rules.
- "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.
Judges responsible for program management and evaluation may ask...
- 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
- "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.
Judges who refer cases to mediation may ask...
- 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.
Judges who incorporate mediation skills into their settlement work may ask...
- 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.
Any judge involved in court ADR may ask about...
- 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.
- "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.
- Hamline University School of Law Mediation Case Law Database – Categorizes more than 1,000 court opinions from 1999 to 2005 on lawsuits arising from mediation, e.g., suit for enforcement of an alleged mediation agreement, mediation sanctions, duty to mediate, mediation confidentiality, mediation ethics or malpractice in the conduct of the mediation, mediation/arbitration issues, fees, or other issue. If the mediator liability snapshot didn't send every mediator to the file cabinet to be sure the malpractice insurance was paid up, this database will.
- 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.