2021 Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution

Mediation and the Rule of Law: Compatible or Conflicting?

The event video is now available.

Featuring Professor Joseph (“Josh”) B. Stulberg
March 30, 2021

State court systems have strongly encouraged litigants and their counsel to utilize ADR processes to resolve their contested claims.  In some jurisdictions, there is a presumption that mediation will be used to resolve or narrow contested claims before a trial can proceed.  Is this movement consistent with our governing aspiration to ensure each citizen access to a justice experience that is compatible with the rule of law?

In this lecture, Professor Stulberg examines various fundamental norms of mediation and rule of law processes and assesses their compatibility or conflict, and then suggests how crucial yet exaggerated claims of ADR proponents can be suitably strengthened to support the requirement of  “presumptive mediation’s” use in our system of justice.

Joseph B. Stulberg

Professor Joseph B. Stulberg, Co-Director of the Divided Community Project and Emeritus Michael E. Moritz Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution, teaches courses primarily in the area of alternative dispute resolution, including Legal Negotiation and the Multiparty Practicum. He earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his Ph.D. in moral philosophy from the University of Rochester. He is the 2019 recipient of both the American Bar Association’s Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work (Section of Dispute Resolution) and the Association of Conflict Resolution’s Mary Parker Follett Award for significant contributions to the field.

A former vice president of the American Arbitration Association in charge of its Community Dispute Services program, Professor Stulberg has been active in the ADR field as a practitioner, scholar, and teacher since 1973.

An experienced practitioner, he has mediated disputes of national significance involving Native American land claims, environmental controversies, and state budget negotiations; he has facilitated significant public planning processes among governmental leaders, NGOs, unions, and citizen groups in emerging democratic societies in Central and Eastern Europe.

Regarded as one of the nation’s pre-eminent mediator trainers, and the only individual to participate in conducting mediator training for the U.S. Attorney General’s original Neighborhood Justice Center programs in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Los Angeles, Professor Stulberg has trained more than 9,500 people in 45 states to serve in court, agency-based, or community-based dispute resolution programs. He developed and conducted the prototype 40-hour mediator training programs for the supreme courts of Florida and Michigan; designed and implemented the first peer-mediation program in New York City public schools; teamed with Partners for Democratic Change to deliver dispute resolution training to governmental and NGO leaders in Central and Eastern Europe; and, together with his longtime professional collaborator, Professor Lela P. Love, has taught courses on mediation theory and practice at multiple U.S. law schools and for university students in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.

Professor Stulberg directed Wayne State University’s interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Industrial Relations Program and then created and co-directed the university’s Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution program. Before joining Moritz in 1998, he was professor of law and director of advanced studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where he led the formation of the country’s first LL.M. Program in Dispute Resolution.

Professor Stulberg has published more than 60 articles in professional journals on theoretical, policy, and practice issues in dispute resolution, and has authored his book on mediation strategy and theory, The Middle Voice (2d ed. 2013.) (with Lela P. Love) as well as his co-authored law school textbook, Mediation Theory and Practice (3d ed. 2013).

Active in professional organizations, he was co-chair of the editorial board of the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine, the quarterly publication of its 4,500-member Dispute Resolution Section, from 2012-2017. He served on the Advisory Committee on Dispute Resolution to the Supreme Court of Ohio (1999-2011); chaired the national Task Force of the Association for Conflict Resolution that analyzed the Arbitration Fairness Act (2009); and was the reporter for the Joint Committee on the Model Standards of Conduct Mediators (2002-05).

One of only 18 international scholars awarded a 2012 Ikerbasque Research Fellowship by the Basque Foundation for Science, Professor Stulberg was in residence at the University of Deusto Law School during the 2012-13 academic year pursuing a comparative study of legal frameworks for implementing mediation processes to resolve cross-border commercial disputes. Among other professional honors, he is the recipient of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and The Ohio State University Faculty Award for Excellence in Community-Based Scholarship (2003).

Schwartz lecture art by rawpixel

The Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution was established in 1992 as a result of the generosity of the late Stanley Schwartz Jr. (a 1947 Moritz College of Law graduate) and the Schwartz family. Each lecture is published in the interdisciplinary Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, in keeping with Mr. Schwartz’s interest in the promotion of scholarly publication in the area of dispute resolution.

Previous Schwartz lectures are avaialble here