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Wissler wins international award for outstanding scholarship in ADR

January 23, 2012

Roselle Wissler, research director of the College of Law’s Lodestar Dispute Resolution Program, has received a major award given annually to academics and professionals in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by a global organization.

Wissler’s paper, “Court-Connected Settlement Procedures: Mediation and Judicial Settlement Conferences,” published in 2011 in the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, was recognized as the “Outstanding Original Professional Article” by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR).

The CPR Institute presented its 29th Annual Awards for Outstanding Scholarship in ADR on Jan. 11 in New York City.

Wissler’s article reports the findings of a survey that provides a rare look at lawyers’ views of several models of judicial settlement conferences and mediation.

The findings show that lawyers tended to view mediation with staff mediators more favorably than both types of judicial settlement conferences and than mediation with volunteer mediators. Lawyers thought that settlement conferences with judges not assigned to the case raised substantially fewer concerns than settlement conferences with judges assigned to the case, while having most of the same benefits. Mediation with volunteer mediators presented a mixed picture relative to both judicial settlement conference models.

According to Wissler’s research, lawyers’ strong overall preference for staff mediation suggests that, when they consider all dimensions, lawyers assign greater importance to being able to discuss settlement openly and fully, without fear of negative consequences and with meaningful client involvement, than to the greater credibility judges may offer.

The findings in large part reflect inherent structural differences among the settlement procedures, including the neutrals' decision-making role, closeness to the trial judge, and proportion of their work life spent facilitating settlement. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these and additional research findings for courts' choices among the models of mediation and judicial settlement conferences.

To read the article, click here.

The CPR Institute’s awards program recognizes exceptional achievement and scholarship in the field of ADR. Criteria focused on processes, techniques, systems, commitment and scholarship which address the resolution, prevention or creative management of major disputes involving public or business institutions between corporations, governments or other parties.

The Institute is a nonprofit think tank and alliance of global corporations, law firms, scholars and public institutions dedicated to the principles of commercial conflict prevention and ADR. Its membership is comprised of general counsel and senior lawyers of Fortune 1,000 organizations and partners in top law firms around the world, as well as leading judges, government officials, neutrals and academics.

Wissler, a faculty fellow in the Center for Law, Science & Innovation, conducts empirical research on mediation, arbitration, and other ADR processes. Her research and writing address various policy issues relating to ADR and examine the factors that contribute to the use and effectiveness of ADR processes.