Mediation Week Toolkit

The theme for this year’s ABA Mediation Week is “Mediation, Civil Discourse, and ABA 2011 Resolution 108”. As lawyers and mediators, we should strive to play an active role in promoting a more civil public discourse. Programs held during ABA Mediation Week will provide interested parties tools to view mediation itself as a form of civil discourse, with materials that encourage lawyers, mediators, and other advocates to enter into constructive, civil dialogue during mediation.

For more information and to see a listing of events visit our Mediation Week Home Page

If you are interested in sponsoring an activity this year, please complete the registration form HERE which sets forth information about your organization and your contemplated activity.

If you have any questions or for more information, please contact: Gina Brown at the American bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution:

Mediation Week Toolkit

This toolkit provides resources and sample materials for practitioners, organizations and bar associations to use to celebrate Mediation Week. The toolkit includes sample talking points and handout materials which can be used to give a presentation to lawyers, students as well as to other target audiences. The toolkit also includes resources and practice development materials for attorneys and practitioners. The ABA encourages your organization to reach out to your local communities and schools and use the toolkit to give presentations about mediation during Mediation Week and afterwards. 

Resources for Developing and Conducting Mediation Week Programs in your Geographic Area

Below is a "seminar in a box" focused on Civil Discourse and ABA 2011 Resolution 108 that you can easily adopt to your own geographic needs, practices, and available speakers.


Resources for Mediation, Civil Discourse, and ABA 2011 Resolution 108

The passage of Resolution 108 by the ABA House of Delegates has reaffirmed the role of lawyers in promoting civil discourse in public life. Many local organizers of ABA Mediation Week activities in October are focusing their efforts on civility, and using their events to advocate and demonstrate productive public discussion on issues of common concern.

Listed below are resources published by some of the top nonprofit organizations in the field that can help you learn more about how to organize, promote, and train for productive civil discourse. These are just a representative sample of the wealth of how-to information available; for more resources, view the websites of the organizations listed below, or visit the sites of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) at and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) at

  • ABA Resolution 108: In August 2011, the ABA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 108 which urges lawyers to set a high standard for civil discourse as an example for others in resolving differences constructively and without disparagement of others. This document is the foundation of the 2018 Mediation Week.
  • A Plea for Civil Discourse: This 2013 article by Andrea Leskes cautions against “the pervasive dogmatism, close-mindedness, and discourse-by-slogan favored today in the public arena.” Among other things, she proposes that civil discourse means that those involved should undertake a serious exchange of views and focus on issues rather than individuals. This article will inform the overall philosophy of the 2018 Mediation Week theme and is recommended reading.
  • Civility and the Legal Profession: A Model CLE Program: This Discussion Guide has two parts: “Civility within the Profession” and “Civility in the Public Sphere.” Each part is broken down into a number of specific topics and each topic has a related appendix with additional discussion questions, cases, article citations, and online resources to help facilitators prepare for and manage the discussion. This guide is intended to form the basis of a one hour Continuing Legal Education program.
  • Resource Guide on Public Engagement: This resource guide from the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is packed with tools and stories to help you tackle contentious problems in your community. The guide showcases several tools created by leaders and practitioners in public engagement, and directs you to many other top-notch resources. Included in full is NCDD’s Engagement Streams Framework, which helps you navigate a range of dialogue and deliberation approaches and make design choices that best fit your purpose and resources.
  • Using Online Tools to Engage – and be Engaged by –The Public: This report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government begins to pull back the veil on how public managers can make use of the various online engagement tactics and tools currently available to them, and when they work best. The report describes common scenarios where public managers may find themselves needing, or using, public input. The report outlines a mix of ten different tactics managers may find useful for engaging the public online, and highlights over 40 different technologies in use today to support those kinds of engagements.
  • Public Engagement: A Primer from Public Agenda: This primer provides an introduction to the community engagement methodology that has been designed and extensively tested by Public Agenda. This document outlines the differences between authentic public engagement and "business-as-usual" approaches to public involvement, and offers a brief summary of the essential elements of successful public engagement efforts.
  • Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project: This is the Public Conversations Project's definitive guide to conducting successful dialogues on the most heated topics. This 183-page publication will take even a first-time practitioner step-by-step through the process while providing experienced facilitators enlightening new insights.
  • Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement: This report from AmericaSpeaks documents a spectrum of tools and techniques developed largely in the nonprofit world in recent years to increase citizens’ involvement in their communities and government. It also highlights ways in which public managers can develop an active approach to increasing citizens’ involvement in government at all levels. Written for the IBM Center for the Business of Government, the report is useful and informative to managers across the nation seeking new, innovative ways to engage citizens.
  • Deliberation and Your Community: How to Convene and Moderate Local Public Forums Using Deliberative Decision-Making: This training manual is a compilation of materials used by people in the National Issues Forums (NIF) Network to train others in deliberative decision-making. It addresses deliberation as another way to decide and is based on how to use local public forums, especially National Issues Forums, as a venue for deliberation.
  • Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action and Change: Everyday Democracy’s core ‘how-to’ resource is a comprehensive guide to involving large, diverse numbers of people in dialogue and action. Used in hundreds of communities, this time-tested process has allowed local leaders to gather citizen input, build bridges between different groups of people, stimulate volunteerism, and create more informed public discourse.