ADR Systems’ Women’s Initiative Committee hosted its first Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event, titled “Gender, Diversity and Mediation,” on October 4th. The seminar was created to educate the legal community on gender, diversity and inclusion as it relates to mediation.
The CLE featured three of ADR Systems’ senior mediators and arbitrators – Hon. Helaine L. Berger, (Ret.), Hon. F. Keith Brown, (Ret.) and Hon. Lisa R. Curcio, (Ret).
“What a pleasure to educate attorneys on the impact of culture, gender and communication differences on the mediation process,” Judge Berger said. “By the mediator being attuned to those differences, the parties are assured that everyone is heard and treated fairly.”
The neutrals discussed differing communication styles between men and women, the influence of stereotypes and other psychological constructs, and solutions for women approaching mediation.
“I hope the attorneys who attended the CLE recognize our own biases and stereotypical behaviors, as well as those of our clients and other attorneys,” Judge Curcio said. “When we do, we can put the behaviors to work for us or try to diffuse the effects of these behaviors to help reach satisfactory resolutions in our mediations.”
Judge Berger added: “The attorneys really enjoyed learning about negotiation strategies and game theory; they became educated as to how this influences decision making. I received feedback from the attorneys after the seminar letting me know that this knowledge would assist them in preparing for and being effective in mediation.”
ADR Systems’ CLE focused on gender, diversity and mediation after a majority of attendees voted at its Women’s Initiative Event on June 27th, 2018 to have a CLE on this topic. ADR Systems hopes to sponsor other events geared toward gender, diversity and inclusion in the future.
Judge Berger is a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems. Before coming to ADR Systems, she served for 19 years as a judge in the Cook County Circuit Court’s Domestic Relations Division and the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice Department. Her high settlement rate is a testament to her innate ability to very quickly relate to people personally, even in the most difficult and emotionally charged situations.
To view Judge Berger’s full bio, click here.
As a former chief judge of Kane County, Judge Brown has extensive experience in settling personal injury, workers’ compensation and commercial matters. As a mediator, he is known for his keen ability to easily connect with people and promote productive communications between all parties. Judge Brown is a beloved pillar of the community, who has been recognized numerous times for community service.
For Judge Brown’s full bio, click here.
Judge Curcio has more than 15 years of judicial experience, 11 of which were in the Chancery Division of the Cook County Circuit Court. In her last seven years on the bench, she focused on mechanics lien and construction contracts and defects. Her skills as a neutral are complimented by her knowledge of real estate transactions, business and the banking industry – all gained prior to becoming an attorney.
To view Judge Curcio’s full bio, click here.
To check Judges Berger, Brown and Curcio’s availability, click here.
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