February 20, 2015

ABA Dispute Resolutions Newsletter Focuses on Ombuds

The February newsletter from the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution highlights Ombuds. An introduction by Chuck Howard explains that the Dispute Resolution Section, "has put together four articles for this newsletter designed to present both a background on ombuds issues and types of ombuds programs (Classical, Organizational, and Advocate)."

The articles include:

Understanding the Types of Ombudsman: A Starter Guide, by Julie C. Smith and Charles L. Howard
Whether you are building an ombuds program, talking with an ombudsman as his or her constituent, or standing outside an ombuds office during discovery stymied by the program’s confidentiality, it helps to know what type of ombudsman you are dealing with. Arm yourself with a basic knowledge of the blueprints and architecture of an ombuds office
Organizational Ombuds: Filling the Gap in Effective Dispute Resolution Systems, by Randy Williams and Sara Thacker
Most dispute resolution systems have effective rights and power-based channels, such as Legal, Human Resources, Ethics, Compliance and line management. However research has shown that critical and effective formal channels are not enough to ensure risk mitigation, transparency and an ethical culture. A complete and successful dispute resolution system needs the capabilities of the formal channels and also those of an informal, confidential Organizational Ombudsman program.
Sound Advice for Every Client: Five Reasons Lawyers Should Advocate for the Organizational Ombudsman, by James S. Hostetler and Clara Bowron
As an attorney, why should I take an interest in the organizational ombuds profession? Many reasons! Learn the value and import that the organizational ombudsman can bring to your clients as well as to your own firm.
Government Ombuds, by Wendy Kamenshine and Jon Stier
In the United States, there are government ombuds who assist on internal issues as well as those ombuds who interface between the public and the government agency. Like their private sector counterparts, government ombuds design programs keeping in mind the essential ombuds characteristics of independence, impartiality (neutrality), and confidentiality. Similarly, government ombuds convey early warnings of individual and systemic issues, make recommendations to senior decision-makers to address issues, and may use other tools to assist in informally resolving issues.
 (ABA Just Resolutions.)

Related posts: ABA Launches Ombuds Task Force; American Bar Association 2014 ADR Conference Includes Two Sessions About Ombuds; ABA/Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee Seeks Members; ABA Business Law Section: "The Ombuds Are Coming!"; ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Seeks Submissions for 2015 Conference; ABA Committee Outlines its Goals.

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