WHY BEST PRACTICES
The “best ADR practices” promote quality, integrity, and the highest level of satisfaction with an ADR experience for both consumers and providers of ADR services. The CDRC has established a reputation for principled advocacy that is not only good for everyone participating in ADR, but also – importantly – for the reliability and reputation of the ADR process itself.
The California Dispute Resolution Council has sponsored a number of statewide dialogue programs on such issues as mediator certification, court-referred mediation, arbitrator immunity, arbitration vacaur grounds, DRPA funding, lawyer obligations to clients regarding ADR, and provider disclosure obligations.
EXAMPLES OF BEST PRACTICES
For example, the CDRC first published its Dispute Resolution Principles in 1995. This is a seminal ADR document produced by many talented individuals who were pioneers in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The principles articulated in this work have governed CDRC’s advocacy before the California Legislature, state administrative agencies, and the courts, setting a benchmark for debate over the major issues facing the ADR community and consumers.
In addition, following the defeat of statewide mediator certification in 1996, CDRC developed a comprehensive set of standards to govern mediation practice. The intention was to produce a model for the ADR community as well as courts, counties, and mediation programs to adopt. CDRC believed that the “model standards” approach was superior to legislation that would be difficult to enact and even more difficult to amend as the practice of mediation evolved. These Mediator Standards have been adopted by at least two programs, have served as a model for several more programs, and are under consideration for adoption in many more locations throughout the state.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRINCIPLES
Since 1995, copies of the CDRC’s Dispute Resolution Principles have been provided to many members of the California Legislature and their staffs, as well as to the Governor’s office. Copies have also been submitted with amicus briefs in significant cases heard by appellate courts. The Principles have been used to teach and to guide, and have proved a valuable touchstone in the process of drafting, amending and interpreting legislation involving ADR issues.
However, it has been 16 years since the Principles were adopted, and the CDRC Board of Directors decided to take a fresh look. A proposed revised version was disseminated for public comment. The current version reflects edits based on comments received since the last CDRC Annual Conference. Please take a careful look and let us know your comments. Your insights concerning this important document will be highly valued.
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
FOR CALIFORNIA MEDIATORS
The California Dispute Resolution Council (CDRC) is a statewide organization of mediators, arbitrators, and other neutral dispute resolvers whose membership includes representatives from all of the major dispute resolution organizations in California, individual practitioners from all sectors of practice, public and private entities, judges, trainers and academicians.
CDRC has reviewed existing organizational standards and has gathered input from practitioners, program administrators, educators, researchers and others to develop the CDRC Standards of Practice for California Mediators. These Standards were developed in collaboration with all of the major dispute resolution organizations and individuals throughout the State. These Standards of Practice are intended to guide mediators and providers in the State of California.