Assignment Instructions and copy of weekly lesson below. Use scholarly sources only. Once you watch the videos and review the California Court ADR site from the lesson, search your state (Alabama) and local government (Jefferson County, AL.) website for similar programs. Please explain the program you find. Be sure to let the class know what aspects it highlights, what processes it has available and any differences from the California site. Please make sure to include the website link so that others can view the site. For an interesting perspective, take a look at “Mediation in Wonderland” at https://www.courts.state.va.us/courtadmin/aoc/djs/programs/drs/mediation/resources/resolutions/2016/mar2016.pdf . Lesson ADR/Mediation This week we look at Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The two most common forms are mediation and arbitration. Mediation is generally nonbinding. A third party works with the parties to come to a common ground on their differences. The process may include other nonlegal issues as well. Arbitration is generally binding where the parties submit their dispute to a decision maker. Many contracts require parties submit disputes to arbitration. The arbitration process is considered less expensive than a trial but it does contain some of the same protections as a trial. State and federal laws generally provide enforcement mechanisms for arbitration decisions. There are many other types of mediation though, neutral evaluation, settlement conferences, the minitrial and combinations of these to name a few. Other ways to approach dispute resolution are also available. Take a look at this Municipal Ombudsman site. Explore the information offered. Does your state have an ombudsman at any level? Do you see the position as a positive? If your state or municipality does not have one, should they? Or is there another process in place? The EEOC offers others such as peer review and facilitation. Review the description at https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/adr/typesofadr.cfm . For a guide to Federal ADR resources see https://archive.opm.gov/er/adrguide/toc.asp . The California Court system offers a nice review and short videos of the different alternative dispute resolution methods at https://www.courts.ca.gov/3074.htm . Attorneys also must know of and be aware that the programs exist and how to best utilize them. An article in Ohio’s state bar magazine addresses how to prepare a client’s civil case for mediation. It emphasized the thorough preparation and understanding of the issues going into the mediation. For mediations, many times there is a requirement for a mediation position statement to start the process. The author notes that the statement should contain: procedural status of the litigation; descriptions of relevant facts supported by copies of key documents and experts of witnesses’ written or recorded statements; indisputable dispositive legal issues; disputed dispositive legal issues with a discussion of the rationale for probable rulings by the court; assessment of claimed damages and remedies; and each party’s proposed terms for global resolution of the case. (Ray, 2015, p.24) Would you suggest anything else in the statement? Do you see any of these are being the “key” to the mediation? (Think bigger than a family issue, these are more for a business dispute) Not exactly alternative dispute resolution as we think of it but there are also many specialty courts. Many of you are familiar with Veteran’s Courts or Domestic/Family courts. I am a fan of the specialty courts. We have a CATCH Court for Human Trafficking Victims in Ohio. It is fascinating and is finally starting to show results. Many of the victims were treated as prostitutes or drug addicts in the past but we are finding many of them are trafficked. This court allows them to enter into a program over a twoyear period. If they successfully complete it, their record is expunged. A short description can be found at https://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/06/26/wbns10tvnewspresentscatchcourt.html and for anyone interested in the first evaluation the full report can be found at https://www.courtnewsohio.gov/happening/2015/CATCHCourt_090215.asp#.VmYoDMpicwQ. To add a bit more international perspective on justice, there was a conference at Case Western Law School on Lawfare in 2010. One of the speakers was Justice Ogoola from Uganda. While all the academics and lawyers were discussing the technicalities of the definition of lawfare, Justice Ogoola was talking about the human side. He spoke of the different types of justice that could be applied to child soldiers. Were they victims or perpetrators? And depending on your answer, how do you either rehabilitate or punish them? I HIGHLY recommend you take 20 minutes to listen to his comments. I would be surprised if it does not have an impact on your thoughts about justice. You can find his comments on panel 3 Lawfare and War Crimes Tribunals at https://law.case.edu/LecturesEvents/Webcast/lecture_id/235.
Go in about 35:38 and you will be at the place in the video where he starts. Another concept from the Chief Prosecutor for Sierra Leone is the truth commission. You can find a great deal of detail at https://www.sierraleonetrc.org/ . The point was that they could not right all the wrongs that were committed against the population so to give the population some measure of closure and input, they literally walked the country asking for stories of the atrocities so the people could feel they had contributed in some way to healing the country. So, as you can see there are a variety of alternative dispute resolution techniques as well as means to adjudicate disputes in ways other than the typical jury trial!