Contact: Sally W. Rankin/Maria
Court Information Office
Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal
For Immediate Release
Getting the Most Out of Mediation?
Judiciary Plans Public Forums
on Quality Assurance
(Baltimore, MD—April 15, 2002)
The Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO)
will hold a public forum on April 17th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the
Scarborough Student Leadership Center, 1204 Camden Avenue, in Salisbury
to discuss critical issues in the field of mediation. Mediators throughout
the Eastern Shore, as well as judges, lawyers and anyone else interested
in mediation, are encouraged to attend and be a part of an emerging collaborative
dialogue on plans to ensure high quality mediation services statewide.
In recent years, MACRO has supported dramatic increases in the use of mediation
across the state and is now attracting national attention as the first
state setting out to build a broad consensus on critical quality assurance
issues. As Hon. Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals
and creator of MACRO explained, “there are a wide range of possibilities
under consideration—from expanded training requirements to continuing in-service
opportunities, mentoring, certification and complaint procedures—and we
need to hear from as many people as possible on what options might work
best in each region of the state.”
“Although led by MACRO and supported by the judiciary, the community’s
role is central to this process,” Chief Judge Bell added. “These forums
offer an early opportunity for anyone interested in playing an important
role in shaping the future of mediation in Maryland.”
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third-party intervenes in a dispute,
helping both sides to communicate with each other and, if possible, reaches
an agreement that satisfies everyone’s needs. In Maryland, mediation
is widely used to resolve child custody disputes and divorce cases.
The process is also becoming increasingly popular for resolving conflict
at the neighborhood level, as well as in schools, businesses, government
agencies and other areas.
The Salisbury forum will be the first of four regional sessions across
the state. Others will be held in Southern Maryland (May 1), Western
Maryland (May 15), and Central Maryland (May 29), all part of an initial
information-gathering phase of the project. MACRO and mediators on its
oversight committee will present a just-released study of best practices
nationally and will lead discussion groups on quality assurance possibilities
All forums are open to the public, but advanced registration is encouraged
because space is limited and a light supper will be served. For more
information, or to register for any session, please call MACRO at 410-321-2398.
Media are invited to attend. For more information, please call Rachel
Wohl at 410/321-2398.
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