2023 Nanci Klein Award from the ADR Section

I was honored this week to receive the Nanci S. Klein Award from the ADR Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Nanci Klein was an early ADR leader in Michigan who devoted her considerable talents to the Community Dispute Resolution Program (CDRP), including leading Michigan’s largest CDRP provider, the Oakland Mediation Center, for ten years. Like me, Nanci was an attorney who chose mediation over litigation, and our terms on the ADR Section Council overlapped. Nanci was taken from us abruptly, all too soon, so the ADR Section established this award in her honor, to be given “in recognition of exemplary programs, initiatives, and leaders in the field of community dispute resolution.”

As I explained in my acceptance speech at the Awards Banquet Tuesday night, the CDRP filled a gap for me. I had been doing mediation through the Christian Conciliation Service in the 1980s, but we lacked a process or structure for managing the mediation. Our CDRP grant required that we get trained in mediation, and when I learned the six-step mediation process, I realized how useful it could be, both for Christian mediations and beyond. Then, in the early 1990s, the CDRP offered opportunities to learn how to train others in mediation, launching my mediation training efforts. I have had the pleasure of leading mediation training, both basic and advanced, for CDRP Centers around the state, and have served on the board, on committees, and as a volunteer mediator for our local CDRP Center, the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan. So, for over three decades I have been involved with Michigan’s CDRP, and plan to continue. I am grateful to the Section for this honor, which was made even more special because my good friend and colleague Shel Stark received the Distinguished Service Award at the same event; he is next to me in the photo below.


No alternative text description for this image