Mediation Week 2020

Mediation Week 2020: Access to Justice - The Role of Mediation

Access to Justice - The Role of Mediation

Mediation saves time and money, and is less of a drain on emotional resources compared to litigation. It thus plays a critical role in ensuring access to justice for all segments of society.

In the post-pandemic world, with courtroom access curtailed and endemic delays in civil cases, mediation plays a more critical role than ever in providing access to justice for disputants. What are courts, non-governmental organizations, law schools, and the private sector doing to fill this need and what more can be done?

Mediation Weeks 2020 events will address what is being done now and ideas for the future.

Mediation Week is a project of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Mediation Committee

Monday - 10.19 Noon ET

In the Midst of Every Crisis… Setting Anti-Bias Standards for Mediators

Christopher Aguirre
Judge Candace Cooper
Gabrielle Hartley
Winter Wheeler
Stanley Zamor

With the resumption of in-person court appearances, attorneys and litigants who are trying to decide whether to choose a jury must weigh the socioeconomic consequences of the digital divide and increased susceptibility to COVID-19 or moving forward with mediation. Litigants who personally or strategically require diverse decisionmakers, where such diversity cannot be accomplished with the jury system, racially and culturally sensitive mediators will be the best alternative. All mediators, diverse or not, must be in a position to step into the void and provide unbiased insight and support to the parties as they mediate their matters. It should be made clear to litigators wary of facing a non-diverse jury system that for our profession, diversity is the key strategy for ensuring the constitutionally protected right for litigants to have a jury of their peers.

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Monday's Articles

Monday's Pre-Recorded Program

Breaking Your Bias by Sejal Thakkar

Gain awareness of unconscious bias and to recognize how our assumptions can negatively influence our decisions in your role as a mediator. Research shows that people can make a conscientious effort to overcome those assumptions. Attendees will understand how to learn how to identify these blind spots and avoid non-objective decisions by combating their own preconceived notions

Tuesday - 10.20 Noon ET

How Mediators Can Increase Access for Victims

Jackie Harounian

Although Domestic Violence Advocates have historically discouraged the use of mediation to resolve issues in couples experiencing domestic violence, through the use of ODR and other protections, mediation can expand justice to victims. 

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Tuesday - 10.20 3 PM ET

Can Mediators Fill  the Void Created By COVID-19 Immunity Laws?

Winter Wheeler
Miracle Rankin
Taylor Tribble
Darren Summerville

States across the country have implemented COVID-19 immunity laws designed to protect healthcare facilities and providers from civil liability related to the spread of COVID-19. Do the new laws provide fair and sufficient protections to both patients and providers? Or are patients left without recourse? We will discuss all of this and how mediators can fill the void created by these laws.

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Tuesday's Articles

Wednesday - 10.21 Noon

Resolution 105 Roundtable

Rebekah Ratliff
Dan Berstein
Joanne St. Louis
Gail Wright Sirmans
Ingeuneal Gray
Ben Davis

This panel discussion will review the implementation and progress of ABA Resolution 105 and inspire next steps to mobilize a CALL TO ACTION to ensure its effectiveness. There are initiatives all around us, spearheaded by affinity bar associations and other interested groups to move the needle forward. Our willingness to push visibility and responsibility will compel accountability and create possibility. Panelists will offer different perspectives on what diversity looks like for consideration on how we can all, as dispute resolvers, work together and individually to advance the mission of equitable inclusivity for all.

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Wednesday - 10.21 3 PM ET

Offering a Lifeline to Parents through Mediation During the Pandemic

Susan DeMatteo
Karen Levitt
Cynthia Runge

This presentation will identify the physical as well as psychological barriers, which parents face in resolving their custody and parenting disputes, now and in the future.  The panel will also highlight how mediation can be a better option for parents to use when resolving their disputes.  Finally, the panel will provide tips to help practitioners make the mediation experience useful and impactful in the virtual world.

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Wednesday's Article

Wednesday's Pre-Recorded Program

How funding Access to Justice ADR programs enhances the profession, and creates a rich rewarding experience for DR professionals.

Thursday - 10.22 Noon ET

Mediation, Language Barriers, and Access to Justice

Ana Sambold
Doug Witten

A vast civil justice gap exists between the number of people who need civil legal assistance and the few who receive it. A lack of access to justice can be devastating, especially for low-income individuals who cannot afford representation and have limited language proficiency. Join bilingual mediators, Ana Sambold and Doug Witten as they address the issue and relate real cases and stories to demonstrate how mediation is breaching the civil justice gap and providing access to justice.

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Thursday - 10.22 3 PM ET

Mask Off 3

Rebekah Ratliff
April Camara
Vanita Banks
Dr. Lane Rollin
Ben Davis
Tabitha Ponder
Gary McFadden

Revelations and Solutions: Revelations and Solutions Roundtable Discussion shining a light on disparities in the black community (health, education, housing, legal/judicial, employment, law enforcement) and the necessary roles of the legal and dispute resolution community to effect real change. The discussion will demonstrate the 'venn diagram' intersectionality of how we are all connected and thus responsible for the change that MUST occur.

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Thursday's Articles

Access to Justice – Making the Party that is Mediation Welcoming and Inclusive by Anelise Codrington

Friday - 10.23 Noon ET

Does Technology Always Improve Mediation and Access to Justice?

David Larson

There is no question that technology can improve many aspects of our lives.  But does greater reliance on technology always improve mediation and access to justice? The session will discuss ways in which technology can improve our mediation and justice processes, identify dangers and shortcomings with certain technologies, and explain how those dangers can be minimized.  Accessibility for persons with disabilities will be a particular focus of this session.

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Friday's Articles

Friday's Pre-Recorded Program

This interactive panel will address how mediators and others have developed innovative solutions to long vexing healthcare disputes and what the results portend for the future in expanding healthcare and reducing disparities.