Diversity Matters

A casual look around the room at any major mediation conference will quickly confirm that women and minorities are still significantly under represented. It may be a long slow journey to create more representative panels worldwide, but one that is well worth taking.

According to the ABA in April 2016, nearly half of all law degrees issued in the United States in the previous academic year were to women. However, if you look at elite law firms, only 18 percent of the partners at the top 200 firms are women. Within that same environment the numbers of Black, Latino and Asian partners represent an even smaller percentage  Few statistics are available to identify how many mediators in the U.S. are women or from an individual ethnic group, but it is safe to assume that they likely parallel the statistics in the elite law firms.

In an area of law where nuance and creativity are most highly valued, including more women and more people from different cultural backgrounds can only enhance the success of mediations.  Creative problem solving, the ability to leverage different types of communications styles and a real sensitivity to important cultural issues are among the most important skill sets a mediator or arbitrator bring to a case.

The pool of neutrals available to hear cases should more closely reflect the demographics of the population they serve; this is one of the most important ways to ensure successful resolution of cases and the ongoing growth of mediation as a dispute resolution tool.  Training and developing a younger, more diverse group of mediators is one of the best ways to ensure that mediation continues to grow as a conflict resolution tool.

ADR providers like JAMS and others recognize the importance of increased diversity among ADR practitioners. They have challenged law firms, corporations and legal organizations to consider women and ethnically diverse neutrals, track their firms’ neutral selection process to measure progress and provide resources to diverse professionals on preparing for a successful career in ADR. Finally they encourage their clients to consider diversity in their selection of ADR professionals.

What is . . . ADR in Health Care

ADR is the practice of resolving disputes through processes other than litigation. The most common forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration, but many other forms exist in the Health Care arena to address specific types of disputes and their need for tailored processes for unique situations. Some of these include hearing officers for hospital hearings, referees for discovery disputes and early neutral evaluation of cases.
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As the ADR leader for more than 35 years, JAMS has neutrals who have developed unmatchable expertise in the resolution of Health Care disputes. Written by some of our top health care panelists, What Is…ADR In Heath Care Disputes is the latest addition to the What Is… book series published by the ABA. In this volume, Viggo Boserup, Brian Parmelee, Jerry Roscoe, Hon. Janice Symchych (Ret.), Wayne Thorpe and Cathy Yanni offer valuable insights on ADR and how these tools can help to avoid costly litigation.

Attorneys in Health Care must remain up-to-date on regulatory changes, industry trends, the economic climate and changes in the law to help resolve disputes for their clients. JAMS is committed to helping our clients and our neutrals stay informed on developments in Health Care. More information about our experienced panel can be found on our Health Care practice page.

 

Happy Holidays from JAMS

Happy Holidays from JAMS from JAMS ADR on Vimeo.

JAMS ADR Blog is Blawg 100 Winner

Blawg100HonoreeBadgeWe are thrilled to announce that the JAMS ADR Blog was selected to the ABA Journal’s Ninth Annual Blawg 100 list. Thank you to everyone who nominated us and to those who continue reading and supporting us.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Blawg 100, every year since 2007, the ABA Journal staffers have assembled a list of their 100 favorite legal blogs for the December issue. Many of these blogs make the list because the staff has found them useful for reasons like tipping them off to potential stories or containing original content, opinion or analysis. Every year the list is full of those who do their profession proud through blogging.