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On February 4, 2020, the Howard County Bar and the MSBA ADR Section Council presented “ADR in a Box: How it Can Help You Grow Your Practice.” It was a well-attended event and there was lots of positive feedback in conversations relating to Alternative Dispute Resolution and how it can be integrated into law practices.

The event was held in Columbia, Maryland. Dinner was provided. There were welcoming remarks from George Hermina, President of the Howard County Bar Association, and from Jolie Weinberg, Chair of the MSBA ADR Section. She explained the background for the concept of ADR in a Box, which won the Best Project Award from the MSBA in 2019. The core of the project is a short video that presents basic information about possible ADR choices while also controlling expectations.

John Greer, Chair of the Education Committee of the ADR Section Council, presented the history of the project. This was followed by the ADR in a Box video. Afterwards, there was a panel discussion about how the project could be used to accomplish its two goals: 1) educating the public about the benefits of ADR and 2) integrating it into a law practice to benefit clients who may be considering ADR. The panel consisted of George Hermina, Cecilia Paizs, and the Honorable Lenore Gelfman. There were interesting discussions relating to mediation. Judge Gelfman stated that clients tend to be more satisfied and justice is done when mediation and other ADR processes are utilized. Judge Gelfman cited specifically that mediation allows the cases to go away for clients, there is no appeal, and the parties tend to be pleased with the outcome and happier with their respective attorneys. There was additional discussion about how the video could be used at the client intake stage to help introduce the concept of ADR. The video could also be used for clients headed to ADR to help manage their expectations and allow them to ask questions about the ADR process. The video also contains a lot of information for self-represented litigants, which most agreed are becoming more common in the court system.

Please contact the MSBA/ADR Section Council if you would like to use ADR in a Box to make a public presentation or to learn about how it may be integrated into your practice and website. The video is available at https://www.msba.org/for-members/sections/adr/.