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In this issue:

Mediation Week Events
Pro Bono Month
Welcome Sam Crosby
Foreclosure/Mortgage Mediation Program

Family Mediation Program

ADR Skills Training
Safety Protocol Reminder
Social Media Links

4th Quarter 2015 Newsletter

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Judy Keegan


Celebrating Mediation Week in the fall (this year, October 11-17, 2015) helps us to appreciate what we do all year. 

How the practice has grown in Alabama!



Photo: Elyce Morris, JD; William D. Coleman, Esq.; Governor Bentley; Judith M. Keegan, Esq.; Honorable Scott Donaldson

Photo: Elyce Morris, JD, Jones Law School ADR Professor and Mediation Clinic Director; William D. Coleman, Esq., Of Counsel, Capell & Howard and appointee to the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution; Governor Bentley; Judith M. Keegan, Esq., Executive Director, Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc. and Commission Secretary; Honorable Scott Donaldson, Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and Commission appointee. 

Celebrating the Parents are Forever Family Mediation

Honorable Scott Donaldson, Martha Cook, Esq., Jana Garner, Esq., 
Sam Crosby, Esq. and Chief Justice Roy Moore
Honorable Scott Donaldson, Martha Cook,  Esq., Jana Garner, Esq.,
Sam Crosby, Esq. and Chief Justice Roy Moore



Birmingham Bar Association ADR Section
celebrated the ABA’s Mediation Week

immediate past president of the Section, Brian Turner, president elect Robert Boleik, president Melanie Merkle Atha, and Section board member Ferris RitcheyThe Birmingham Bar Association ADR Section celebrated the ABA’s Mediation Week with a breakfast honoring the Jefferson County District Judges and the volunteer mediators who faithfully assist them on October 16, 2015. 

Pictured at right are immediate past president of the Section, Brian Turner, president elect Robert Boleik, president Melanie Merkle Atha, and Section board member Ferris Ritchey, who organized the breakfast.  Brian, Melanie and Ferris are also members of Birmingham Collaborative Alliance.

Also photographed below are Cedric Coleman, Robert Boleik (president elect of the section), Greg Kennemer (board member), Melanie Merkle Atha  (president of the section), Brian Turner (immediate past president of the section) and Ferris Ritchey (board member).  Ferris organized the annual breakfast which honored the Jefferson County District Judges and the volunteer mediators who so effectively help them winnow their dockets.  

Cedric Coleman, Robert Boleik, Greg Kennemer, Melanie Merkle Atha, Brian Turner and Ferris Ritchey

Photographed below are Judge Bentley Patrick, Melanie Merkle Atha  (president of the section), Andy Ward, John Hall (section board member) Virginia Miller (section board member) and Ferris Ritchey (section board member).  

Judge Bentley Patrick, Melanie Merkle Atha, Andy Ward, John Hall, Virginia Miller and Ferris Ritchey

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October is also Pro Bono Month!

Jana Garner


Linda Lund, Esq. is a wonderful leader for the Volunteer Lawyers Program, and Jana Garner was this year’s pro bono mediator recognized at the ASB annual meeting in July.  

Thanks, Jana for all your efforts!



We also want to acknowledge the following mediators who provided pro bono mediation time. 

Beverly Baker
J. Payne Baker
Robert Barr
Robert Boliek
Sarah Bowers
Robin Burrell
William Caughran
L. Brian Chunn
David Coleman
Cedrick Coleman
Louis Colley
Martha Reeves Cook
George Copeland
Timothy Culpepper
Donald Fazekas
R.A. “Sonny” Ferguson
Charles Fleming
Anton Gaede
Jana Garner
J. Kirkman Garrett
Michael Hammick
Arthur Hanes

R. David Hendrickson
L.D. Holt
Leslie Johnson
Sharon Johnston
John Karrh
Stephanie Kemmer
Ross Kinder
Sammye Kok
John “Jack” Lavette
Richard Mauk
Rodney Max
J. Wesley McCollum
H. Edward McFerrin
Elizabeth McGlaughn
George McMillan
Virginia Miller
R. Boyd Miller
Jameria Moore
Brock Murphy
Horace O’Neal
Ann Ott
William Ratliff

Ferris Ritchey
James Rives
Christina Robinson
Holly Sawyer
Stephen Sexton
Morris “Bo” Shaw
Allison Skinner
Donna Smalley
Elizabeth Smithart
Angeline Sperling
Ron Storey
Edward “Ted” Strong
Mark Taupeka
Michael Upchurch
Michael Walls
James Walter
W. Watson
John Webb
LaShunta White-Boler
Richard Whittaker
Bruce Williams

Thank You!

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Dispute Resolution Section
Welcomes New Chair

Sam CrosbySam Crosby, Past President of the Alabama State Bar, is the new chair of the Dispute Resolution Section, and I hope if you have not done so, that you will consider joining by going to the Bar’s website and signing up

Our contracts with the Supreme Court of Alabama were approved by the legislature, so we are set for 2015-16.  Statistics for the Family Mediation Program and for the Foreclosure Mediation Program (which we wrapped at the end of April) appear in this e-news.

I have included a list of training for the remainder of the year in case your friends or members of your local bar are interested, and I will be at the November 3rd meeting of the Lawrence County Bar.

As I write, I am just finishing a conference call with the ABA Dispute Resolution Section International Committee, of which I am a member.  We are developing contacts in each country so we can be of assistance as they develop ADR centers, legislation, rules, workshops and training.   We’ve hosted international peacemakers at the Center in the recent past.  Road trip, please. 

And a happy fall and holiday season to all!



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Foreclosure Prevention/Mortgage Modification Mediation Program

ForeclosureOur grant from the attorney general wrapped at the end of April. 

In all, we had 202 homeowner cases that entered the program: 
   102 that were non-court,
   52 that were in the circuit courts,
   11 appellate cases,
   8 bankruptcy,
   21 from 211 calls (United Way), and
   8 referrals from Congressman Roger’s office in D.C. 

We mediated in 17 Alabama counties.  

Much thanks to all our foreclosure prevention mediators who went beyond the call of duty!

Of the homeowners in the non-court cases, 45 were able to stay in their homes, and of those we know had to leave, some were able to do short sales or deeds in lieu.  Some had deficiencies waived.  We referred many homeowners to lawyers, legal aid, or HUD, and we do not know the results for them; we did not require them to get back to us and tell us what they did. We also gave some homeowners three mediators to call for assistance in their area of Alabama, but our mediators never heard from them.   A few servicers declined to mediate, but they may have offered in house mitigation packages.

Of the homeowners in circuit court cases, 13 were able to stay in their homes and 7 benefited with cash for keys in moving out.  Several moved out, but their deficiency was waived.  Some of them had been in their houses several years without paying prior to foreclosure.

In the appellate courts, one homeowner was able to repurchase the home, and the 4 that moved out received cash for keys or other confidential considerations.  Two continued the appeal, one continues to negotiate.

In our bankruptcy cases, 5 homeowners managed to stay in their homes, and two were waiting for modifications.

The 211 cases were the most difficult because homeowners were unresponsive, a lot, and only 5 worked with mediators.  Two remained in the home, and one moved.  The others went from the mediator to legal services or other assistance when the mediator determined that it was necessary.  We marked the chart with an (M) if the 211 client did have an opportunity to talk with a mediator.

Of the homeowners referred by Congressman Rogers, 4 worked with mediators and received PF numbers (pre foreclosure).  Two stayed in their homes, and 2 were non responsive or a mediation no show, after working with a mediator.  The other cases were referred or were unresponsive.  If they were referred to mediators, but never contacted any, then we have no mediator record, so we do not know what happened to them.

I would like to thank the mediators who kept cases after the program closed, many without pay, to help homeowners.  A special thanks to Jimmy Walters at Capell & Howard for his report this month.  He had two cases he thought needed continued work and he was able to obtain a loan modification and a cash for keys.  Both homeowners were happy with the results. His work was pro bono.

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Parents are Forever Family Mediation Program
December 2013 – September 30, 2015


  • 165 MEDIATIONS        (with 35 still in progress)
  • 133 AGREEMENTS       (115 full agreements; 18 partial)

Average family income:    $44,000
Average number children:    1.5
Average cost per mediation:    $876.89
Number of children whose parents were helped by mediators:     242

Mediators gave 245.76 hours of pro bono time – over 6 weeks of free assistance!


Autauga, Bibb, Chilton, Clay, Coffee, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Russell, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Wilcox


Baldwin, Calhoun, Chambers, Cleburne & Randolph


# 1 Houston   #2 Walker   #3 Lee   #4 Dale   #5 Dallas


  • Family Income <  $75,000
  • Child/Children
  • Order by judge into the program using sample order
  • Pro bono component for mediator in each case
  • Parents and their attorneys have to agree to work cooperatively with each other in mediation per the  order. 
  • Goal is to develop a parenting plan which includes parenting time, responsibilities and support for the child or children, and a financial plan.

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ADR Skills Courses For Remainder of 2015

Watch the Center website for training in addition to the opportunities listed below:
or call (334) 269-0409 for an update. 

The Center only reviews and approves the basic mediation training courses: 
general civil (20 hours) and divorce mediation (40 hours).


In State Mediation Training:

Troy Smith, JD                             
(800) 237-3476

December 3-5, 2015 - Birmingham

Advanced Mediation Training:
December 02, 2015 - Huntsville
December 09, 2015 - Birmingham
December 14, 2015 - Montgomery
December 11, 2015 - Mobile

Divorce/Domestic Relations 
November 13-17, 2015 - Birmingham

Mediation When There Are Alligations of Domestic Violence 
December 7-8, 2015 - Birmingham





The live webcast during Mediation Week 2015

Practical Tips From Top Mediators

is now available for a listen on-demand.

You will hear from a panel of mediators around the state including Harold Stephens, Brad Wash, Allison Skinner, Ken Simon and Michael Upchurch, who will discuss practical tips to help make your next mediation or negotiation more successful. Sam Crosby moderates and contributes. 

The Bar’s Section of Dispute Resolution, with a special thanks to Sam Crosby, Chair, and the Center (with assistance from the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute resolution) offered this program at low cost to neutrals in the State.

This link goes to the CLE Alabama website where you may view the recording:

The presenters' materials are available on our website at



Weinstein JAMS Fellowship

The Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship constitutes the JAMS Foundation’s primary international initiative to support ADR practitioners worldwide in the promotion and advancement of conflict resolution in their home countries and beyond.

The program is intended specifically for individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to ADR and who wish to increase the availability of ADR education and services in their home countries.

Fellowship applicants who have experience as lawyers, law professors, court administrators, government officers, ADR practitioners, or judges are given strong preference in the application process. 

Applications for the 2015 Weinstein JAMS Fellowship are due Nov. 20, 2015.





American Bar Association ADR Section
 18th Annual Spring Conference
April 7-9, 2016
Sheraton Times Square
New York, NY




Welcome to the "CPR Datebook." Every week, we provide you with details on CPR's upcoming events, in one place, for easier planning purposes. These mailings will also contain helpful tips, highlights and links to breaking CPR news and initiatives, as well as CPR resources you may want to explore or revisit. CPR is always hard at work to provide information and other tools to help you advance your dispute resolution goals. 

To print the DateBook, first open it in your browser



Don't Forget!

ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
Arbitration Webinar Series

This 6-part arbitration series is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the leading arbitrators and arbitration advocates in the country. Each webinar will focus on different phases and challenges of the arbitration process.
Faculty members will provide valuable insights and advice from the perspective of the arbitrator and advocate on every aspect of arbitration, from the importance of the preliminary hearing to the best practices for drafting arbitration awards. The program will also provide in-depth discussion and practical guidance on common ethical issues arbitrators face while building a successful arbitration practice. Please see below for more details on each program.

November 10, 2015 - Part V
The Award, Remedies and Post Award Process

The program will discuss best practices for drafting arbitration awards, arbitration remedies and post-award processes, including the confirmation of awards and actions to set aside arbitration awards.

  • Mark C. Morril, Arbitrator and Mediator
  • Julissa Reynoso, Chadbourne & Parke
  • Stephen E. Smith, Sherman and Howard L.L.C
  • Rachel Thorn, Chadbourne & Parke

Register at the ABA Website Today

December 8, 2015 - Part VI
Ethical Aspects to Consider
While Building an Arbitration Practice

Join two established arbitrators and two of the country’s leading ADR service providers as they give practical advice and insights to arbitrators interested in creating or expanding a successful arbitration practice while meeting ethical and disclosure obligations. The panel will offer business development ideas and best practices for arbitrators, and discuss ethical obligations that must be considered as you build your reputation and book of business. This is an essential course for all arbitrators who wish to market themselves successfully and ethically!


  • Serena Lee, American Arbitration Association
  • Gina Miller, JAMS - The Resolution Experts
  • Cathy Yanni, JAMS - The Resolution Experts
  • Gilda R. Turitz, Sideman & Bancroft LLP

Register at the ABA Website Today

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A Reminder:
Keeping Everyone Safe: Developing A Plan And Protocols for Safety in your ADR Process

Keeping Everyone SafeThe Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) Taskforce on Safety in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has drafted ADR Safety Planning: Recommended Guidance to Promote the Safety of Practitioners and Participants in ADR Processes.

These recommendations are intended to encourage and assist practitioners and ADR provider organizations in the planning and implementing of safety procedures for all ADR processes they conduct.

The full text of the ACR Task Force Recommended Guidance can be found online at:

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Alabama Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution goes Social!

Alabama ADR LogoWe've been blogging for years! Get news when we learn it. Access training information. Learn the latest. Read our blog or sign up for the RSS news feed. Go to

FacebookDid you know we're on Facebook? Visit our page at and Like us to keep up with the latest news and happenings at the Alabama Center For Dispute Resolution!

TwitterWe're also on Twitter! While we don't have a lot of "fast-breaking news," we have a Twitter account to keep you up on the latest. Follow us @AlabamaADR at

YouTubeAnd now we have a YouTube channel! We are loading videos and pointing to reference videos related to our favorite topics... mediation, negotiation, arbitration, restorative justice, etc.
Visit Alabama Alternative Dispute Resolution Center on YouTube.

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Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
PO Box 671, Montgomery, Alabama 36101  Voice: 334.269.0409 - Contact Information
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