Summer 2023

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Chair's Corner

By Ed Pappas, Chair

Mediators play an important role in helping parties resolve their disputes in a civil, respectful and peaceful manner, but not all parties have access to, or the ability to pay for, mediators to help them resolve their disputes. I believe that lawyers have a responsibility to provide services to those who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. Read More

Rethinking Party Safety in Online Mediation

By Dee Williams, Research Associate

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to online mediation becoming far more common in family cases than it was previously. This shift from in-person to video mediation has both benefits and potential pitfalls when it comes to participant safety, as discussed in a recent article by Erin R. Archerd. Read More

A Litigator’s Guide to Mediation Advocacy: Reflections on Effectively Achieving Client Goals

By Sheldon J. Stark, Mediator and Arbitrator

This is the second part of a two-part article. Part I focused on the fundamental differences between the mediation process and other stages in the litigation process necessitating a different approach to advocacy in order to be most effective. Read More

The Stories Michigan Personal Injury Lawyers Tell

By Maria Cudowska

Maya Angelou once famously said that people will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Taking a life of its own and possibly being Angelou’s best quote ever, I took the opportunity to reflect on Angelou’s timeless wisdom through the perspective of personal injury (“PI”) lawyers in Michigan. Read More

An Interview with Our Friend, Sheldon J. Stark, Esquire

Sheldon J. StarkBy Michael S. Leib and Robert Wright

Shel Stark recently retired—for the fourth time. Not many of us have four professional careers. Yet Shel did, each marked by passion, excellence, and sharing. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Shel about his life and careers. Here is a short (necessarily so given space requirements) look at Shel’s fascinating professional journey. Read More

Michigan Arbitration and Mediation Case Law Update

By Lee Hornberger, Arbitrator and Mediator

This update reviews Michigan appellate decisions issued since January 6, 2023, concerning arbitration and mediation. Read More

From the Field: Adding Techniques to Your Mediator Toolbox Effective Closing Techniques

By Sheldon J. Stark, Mediator and Arbitrator

We are often selected as mediators because we have the skills needed to assist parties in reaching satisfactory resolution. A common tool is the mediator proposal discussed in a previous From the Field. In this column, you will find five additional closing techniques effective in closing the deal. Read More

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Blogs Concerning ADR

The SBM ADR Section website contains a list of blogs concerning alternative dispute resolution topics that have been submitted by members of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

The list might not be complete. Neither the State Bar nor the ADR Section necessarily endorse or agree with everything that is in the blogs. The blogs do not contain legal advice from either the State Bar or the ADR Section.

If you are a member of the SBM ADR Section and have an ADR theme blog you would like added to this list, you may send it to Editor, Lisa Okasinski at with the word BLOG and your name in the Subject of the e-mail.

Editor's Note

The Michigan Dispute Resolution Journal is looking for articles on ADR subjects for future issues. You are invited to send a Word copy of your proposed article to The Michigan Dispute Resolution Journal to Editor, Lisa Okasinski at

Articles that appear in The Michigan Dispute Resolution Journal do not necessarily reflect the position of the State Bar of Michigan, the ADR Section, or any organization. Their publication does not constitute endorsement of opinions, viewpoints, or legal conclusion that may be expressed.

Publication and editing are at the discretion of the editor. Prior Journals are at

ADR Section Homepage

The ADR Section Homepage includes the Section Mission Statement, Who We Are, Why You Should Join the ADR Section, and Let Litigants Know that MEDIATION Really Works. The homepage also provides access to the Section calendar, events, and ADR Section publications.