Conflict Resolution Week Declared
The week of Oct. 15-21 has officially been declared as Conflict Resolution Week in North Carolina by Chief Justice Mark Martin of the N.C. Supreme Court.
"On behalf of the Judicial Branch, we applaud the mediators, arbitrators, and other dispute resolution practitioners across North Carolina," said Chief Justice Martin in a press release. "Conflict Resolution Week celebrates their commitment to helping parties resolve their conflicts peacefully and successfully without prolonged litigation."
“North Carolina,” the release continues, “has long had a strong commitment to programs that promote dispute resolution. The General Assembly created mediation and arbitration programs which have successfully operated in North Carolina's district and superior courts for more than 25 years. The N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission (DRC), established in October 1995, is charged with certifying and regulating private mediators who serve the courts, and also recommends policy, rules and rule revisions relating to dispute resolution in N.C. courts. The 17-member Commission is chaired by Judge William Webb and includes members appointed by all three branches of government.”
The North Carolina Bar Association has long been at the forefront of the alternative dispute resolution movement through the efforts of its Dispute Resolution Committee and, since January 1993, the NCBA Dispute Resolution Section.
LeAnn Nease Brown of Brown & Bunch in Chapel Hill is one of several NCBA members serving on the N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission. She also serves as chair of the NCBA Dispute Resolution Section, in which capacity she was invited address the Conflict Resolution Week proclamation ceremony.
“The N.C. Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section,” Brown stated, “comprises a dedicated and collegial group of practitioners and participants in alternative dispute resolution: lawyers and non-lawyers: including mediators (in programs such as Superior Court mediation, Family Financial mediation, the Clerk Program, the farm dispute program, district criminal court mediation, community mediation and restorative justice), arbitrators (both domestic and international, in our district courts and through independent work in cases large and small), collaborative family law practitioners, collaborative law practitioners, neutral evaluators and advocates for parties participating in alternative dispute resolution.
“Our section endeavors to continue and advance North Carolina’s rich 25-plus year history as a leader in alternative dispute resolution. We are honored to co-sponsor the celebration of Conflict Resolution Week; a week to recognize and reflect upon the importance of resolving conflict and to highlight the many avenues available to help people and organizations find alternatives to remaining embroiled in adversarial disputes.”
Brown concluded her remarks by thanking Chief Justice Martin for his remarks and his “leadership in the recognition of alternative dispute resolution methods as an integral to our judicial system. Our citizens are well served by our judiciary’s commitment to the availability and use of alternative dispute resolution methods.”
She also thanked Gov. Roy Cooper, who issued a separate proclamation, for his support of Conflict Resolution Week, and Rep. Cynthia Ball, a mediator-legislator who plans to acknowledge Conflict Resolution Week in the General Assembly.