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September 30, 2019

September 2019 - Ombuds Committee

Message from the Co-Chairs

We are delighted that the Ombuds Committee is sponsoring the September 2019 edition of Just Resolutions. Many thanks to our authors Andrea Brown, Nicholas Diehl and Natalie Fleury as well as our marvelous Newsletter Chair, Shannon Lynn Burton for diligently writing, compiling and editing this month’s suite of articles for your review, information and enjoyment.  

 As many of you may know, the ombuds committee is composed of both experienced ombuds as well as those interested in, or new to, the field.  We serve all types of ombuds regardless of model or sector.  There are several initiatives and opportunities for engagement in 2019/2020 including: presentations, webinars, publishing articles, authoring books, planning and executing Ombuds Day events and more. If you have an interest in developing greater awareness and use of this powerful dispute resolution mechanism, we welcome you to join us! 

Finally, please join us in celebrating Ombuds Day on October 10, 2019. Ombuds Day takes place on the second Thursday of October and is an opportunity to raise awareness of the ombuds profession, promote a shared understanding of the various types of ombuds, highlight the value of ombuds and encourage greater use of programs, which adhere to accepted standards. If you are in the Chicago, DC or Boulder area, we hope you will attend our ABA DRS Ombuds Day events! 

Warm regards,

Elizabeth Hill and Jon Lee, Co-chairs

Featured Articles

Making the invisible visible: Creating a safe space in the ombudsman practice to address systemic issues on race
By Andrea Brown

It is our responsibility as ombudsman to acknowledge difficult issues, push the envelope, and create tension for others and sometimes ourselves. As Ombudsman Emeritus at the National Institutes of Health Howard Gadlin said at the 2018 Coalition of Federal Ombudsman Annual Conference, “If we are not generating tension in our agency, then we are not doing our jobs.”

Beyond a Book Review: Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict
By Natalie Fleury

In the interest of saving time, the main point of this article is that anyone involved in conflict resolution work should read this book. If you have a few more minutes to spare, this article will summarize some of the key points.

Increasing Ombuds Effectiveness and Accountability
By Nicholas Diehl

As the Organizational Ombudsman field continues to grow, it is important for practitioners to find ways to measure the effectiveness of the work. I frequently receive questions from people, both inside and outside of my organization, about what success looks like for an ombuds office. 

Boskey Law Student Essay Competition Results

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution is pleased to recognize Jon McClurg, a law student at Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, as the winner of the 2019 ABA Boskey Essay Competition.  His essay, Wampum, Buffalo, and Taliban: How embracing lessons on violence and negotiation from the American Indian Wars will help end the War in Afghanistan, was deemed by the James Boskey Judging Committee as the winning entry. 

Ariel Cox, a student at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, received an Honorable Mention, for her essay, Serve & Protect, Honor & Respect: Restoring the Victims and Rebuilding Police and Community Ties After Racially Charged Civilian-Police Incidents.

The James Boskey ADR Writing Competition is named in memory of James B. Boskey, an intellectual, humanitarian, Seton Hall University law professor, and mediator. The purpose of the competition is to create greater interest in the field of dispute resolution among all law students of the nation, particularly the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association.

ABA Ombuds Day

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution Ombuds Committee invites you to participate in the second celebration of a profession that has existed for centuries yet remains relatively unknown and underutilized: the ombuds. This year’s theme is Ombuds: Unusual name. Important service.

Ombuds Day serves as an additional opportunity to educate and raise awareness among the public about the history and practices of the ombuds profession including the various ombuds models, the roles they play, the services they offer and the value provided.

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution is helping sponsor three regional events in Boulder, Colorado, Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. visit the ABA Ombuds Day site for programming information and registration.

Resolutions Podcast

Resolutions: A Podcast About Dispute Resolution and Prevention

A conversation with Elizabeth Hill about the roles of an Ombuds and the upcoming ABA Ombuds Day events. Click on the links below to register for an event in the city nearest you.

Ombuds: Unusual Name. Important Service

Listen Now

Ethical Guidance for Mediators

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance provides advisory responses to requests for ethical guidance based on the American Bar Association/American Arbitration Association/Association for Conflict Resolution Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (2005).  The scope of the Committee is limited to the consideration of ethical issues pertaining to mediation.

Submit an Ethics Inquiry to the Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance

Read the Advisory Opinions Issued by the Committee in the Library of the Dispute Resolution Ethics “Open Forum” Connect Community. 

ABA Membership – Complimentary Group memberships

ABA members can now join the Law Practice, Solo, Small Firms, and the General Practice Divisions for free. Try out these ABA groups and access their exclusive content to advance your practice.