Happy New Year to all of our faithful volunteers and supporters.
"The purpose of the DCDRC is to serve the residents of Dallas County by offering them an affordable alternative to resolving disputes." A milestone was achieved on November 8, 2011 when the Commissioners Court approved Court Order #2011-1938 establishing the creation of a Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC).
This new program began on January 3, 2012 with cases being referred from the Civil District Courts, Family District Courts, County Courts at Law, Probate Courts, and Justice of the Peace Courts. Only cases in which the parties truly cannot afford mediation services will be referred to this program by the Courts. This program has not been established to compete with the private mediation market, but to serve an unmet need and provide a service to the residents of Dallas County. Mediators who participate in this program provide services on a pro bono basis and the need is ongoing. The DCDRC is currently seeking qualified mediators to participate the Center’s Mediator Pool. Volunteer mediators and their services to the County and public are invaluable and very much appreciated. Please contact the ADR Coordinator via phone at 214-653-7898 or email at [email protected], to request more information or if you have any questions. POST / COMMENT REMOVAL POLICY The Dallas County ADR Department page was created to facilitate the exchange of information with the public.The department reserves the right to regulate the content of, and where necessary delete, any objectionable entry posted. The Dallas County ADR Department is responsible for monitoring all postings and may take appropriate action when necessary, and at its sole discretion from inappropriate or otherwise harmful information and links. Examples include: • Profane language or content. • Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation. • Explicit or implied sexual content. • Conduct implying, promoting, or encouraging illegal activity. • Information that might compromise the safety or security of the public. • Any other posting that, by its nature or content, might harm public welfare.
Happy New Year to all of our faithful volunteers and supporters.
The Staff of the Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) wishes all of our volunteers and supporters a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to the Center during this year of the pandemic. I want each of you to know that we look forward to seeing each of you in 2021. Thank you and best wishes.
The Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) would like to announce Ms. Rebecca Arndt as the Volunteer of the Month for November 2020. Rebecca is a great volunteer who is a joy to work with and is more than willing to help Dallas litigants resolve their disputes. On behalf of the staff here at the DCDRC, thank you for your time, commitment, and dedication to the DCDRC, the Dallas Courts, and the residents of Dallas County. This recognition will be on display in the DCDRC lobby for all to see. Congratulations!
Today was the second session of "A Virtual Tour of Zoom" and all of the participants are excited about taking their Zoom expertise to the next level. There was so much information presented that I am glad I was able to attend both sessions. I would like to thank our presenters Sharon Corsentino, Esq. of Sharon Corsentino Mediations, PLLC., Lis Bulmash, Esq. of JAMS, and Anne Shuttee, Esq. of The Law Office of Anne Shuttee for all of their expertise. Thank you for all of your support and those who are interested in viewing the recording please let me know.
Today was the first session of "A Virtual Tour of Zoom". The session was very informative and it will help all of us take our Zoom Mediation Sessions to the next level. I want to thank Sharon Corsentino, Esq., Lis Bulmash, Esq., and Anne Shuttee, Esq. for facilitating this dynamic training session. The next session is scheduled for Friday, December 2, 2020 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Be there or be square! Space is limited.
Good Morning Faithful Volunteers,
The DCDRC Zoom Social Hour held on 11/20/20 at noon was a blast. I want to thank my co-host Irene Perez Zucker for coordinating this activity and her spouse Sandy Zucker for creating the Zoom background. We played Bingo and shared about our mediation/life experiences during quarantine. Another Zoom Social Hour will be scheduled in early 2021. The Staff of the DCDRC misses everyone and please stay safe.
Good Evening Everyone,
I am excited to share another great DCDRC Training opportunity from three amazing presenters. I encourage everyone who wants/needs to strengthen their Zoom mediation expertise to participate in these sessions. Please be aware that space is limited to 35 people per session. Let's all become virtual mediation experts.
Good Afternoon Everyone. The DCDRC is having an upcoming Zoom activity that is going to be a blast. I look forward to seeing you there.
The Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) would like to announce Mr. Bill Ucherek II as the Volunteer of the Month for October 2020. Bill is a great volunteer who is a joy to work with and is more than willing to help Dallas litigants resolve their disputes. On behalf of the staff here at the DCDRC, thank you for your time, commitment, and dedication to the DCDRC, the Dallas Courts, and the residents of Dallas County. This recognition will be on display in the DCDRC lobby for all to see. Congratulations!
The Texas Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) Directors Council had its Fall Meeting on 10/30/20 via Zoom. All of the Centers are conducting mediation sessions via Zoom or a combination of in person and Zoom format. All of the Directors believe that virtual mediation is here to stay. Listing of Directors starting from top left: Kara Hawthorn - Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County, Inc., Othel Bursey - Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center, Ed Reaves - Hill County Dispute Resolution Center, Al Cortez - Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center, Marisa Quintanilla & Jessica Apodaca- EL Paso County Dispute Resolution Center, Carl Lucas - Paris Dispute Resolution Center, Janet Lyon - McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center, Nicholas Hall - Harris County Dispute Resolution Center, Gene Valentini - Office of Dispute Resolution, Kris Donley - Travis County Dispute Resolution Center, Vicki Reed - The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, Elaine Roberts - Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc., Martha Joyce - Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center, Shelly Hudson - Fort Bend Dispute Resolution Center.
I hope everyone had a great Wednesday. We miss you. Stay safe and healthy. 😊
I would like to thank the Dallas Bar Association's Family Law Section Chair Ebony Rivon, Esq. and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Chair Sharon Corsentino, Esq. for conducting the 9th Annual Joint CLE titled "Best Family Law Virtual Mediation Practices on 10/14/20 at noon. Georganna Simpson gave the Case Law Update and the Dream Team Panel consisted of Ebony Rivon - Rivon Law Firm, PLLC, Sharon Corsentino - Sharon Corsentino Mediations, PLLC, Retired Senior Judge Lena Levario, Mellannise Henderson-Love - Mellannise Henderson-Love, PLLC. One of my take-a-ways is to never participate in a Zoom Mediation while driving! That will lead to an accident.
Good Evening Everyone. Tomorrow (10/14/20) is the big day for the Joint CLE with the Dallas Bar Association's Family Law Section and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. The event of the year will begin at noon and last until 1pm. I am looking forward to seeing everyone soon. Please contact Rob McAngus via email at [email protected] to register for the event. Thanks.
2020 DCDRC Volunteer of the Month and Spirit Award Winners that were not present for the Ceremony. Please tell them congratulations when you see them. Thank you Award Winners.
Velda Eaton is the 2020 Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center's Volunteer of the Year! Please wish her a well deserved congratulations for achieving this level of success two years in a row.
Congratulations to the 2020 Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) Award Winners and they are the following: Mike Moore Esq., Sharon Harris, Tonya Ewing Esq., Robert Arnold, Arnold Lambert, Ryan Rash, Bill Masse, Lori Blair, Steve Flynn, Velda Eaton, and Carolyn Morris. A special thanks to our presenters Honorable Maricela Moore Presiding over the 162nd Civil District Court, Honorable Valencia Nash Presiding over Justice of the Peace Court 1-2, Ray Green Esq., DRSB Chair, and Lori Ann Bodino District Courts Administrator for their special remarks to our award winners and volunteers. Finally, I would like to give kudos to Irene Perez Zucker for coordinating the Zoom Awards Ceremony for the DCDRC.
The Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) would like to announce Mr. Russell Haynes as the Volunteer of the Month for September 2020. Russell is a great volunteer who is a joy to work with and is more than willing to help Dallas litigants resolve their disputes. On behalf of the staff here at the DCDRC, thank you for your time, commitment, and dedication to the DCDRC, the Dallas Courts, and the residents of Dallas County. This recognition will be on display in the DCDRC lobby for all to see. Congratulations!
Please congratulate Steve Flynn on completing Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Southern Methodist University. Way to go Steve! You rock!
Good Afternoon Faithful Volunteers and Supporters of the DCDRC. Please avail yourself of the upcoming Joint CLE that will be occuring via Zoom. Your participation in this activity will be greatly appreciated and will serve as a show of support from the volunteers of the DCDRC. Thank you and have a great weekend.
Good Morning Faithful Volunteers and Supporters of the Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC). Our 9th Annual Awards Ceremony will be happening next Friday, October 9, 2020 via Zoom. Please RSVP by Monday, October 5, 2020 to help us celebrate our Monthly Winners and the DCDRC Volunteer of the Year. The DCDRC Staff, Judiciary, and Court Staff are looking forward to seeing you via Zoom. Be there or be square!😄
Hello Faithful Volunteers and Supporters. I hope that you can attend our Virtual Awards Ceremony Via Zoom 10/9/20 at noon. Find out who will be the 2020 DCDRC Volunteer of the Year amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) would like to announce Ms. Sonya Murray as the Volunteer of the Month for August 2020. Steve is a great volunteer who is a joy to work with and is more than willing to help Dallas litigants resolve their disputes. On behalf of the staff here at the DCDRC, thank you for your time, commitment, and dedication to the DCDRC, the Dallas Courts, and the residents of Dallas County. This recognition will be on display in the DCDRC lobby for all to see. Congratulations!
Thank you Don Swift and Irene Perez Zucker for another great training put on by the Regional Texas Association of Mediators on 9/15/20 at 7pm. The guest presenter for the evening was Retired Judge Lena Levario who presented on the on "In's and Out's of the Family MSA". The next virtural meeting is scheduled for November 2020.
Look who I bumped into on today at the office....Ms. Ruby Gray.
Good Afternoon Faithful Volunteers and Followers of the DCDRC. My staff and I are working hard to re-open our physical location so that it's safe for all mediators and guests. We had Plexiglass installed in our offices and lobby this week (See pics). A physical date for reopening at our location has not been set, but will happen in the near future. All the staff is working remotely and can be reached via direct work line and email. We have been scheduling meditations via zoom since July 2020 and we want to thank our volunteer pool of mediators for stepping up and handling zoom cases for the Center. I wanted to give you an update on the DCDRC happenings. Its very empty in downtown Dallas and the George Allen Senior Courts Building. Have a safe and fun Labor Day holiday everyone. WE MISS YOU!!!!
Law Firm Layoffs May Pick Up Speed This Fall
By Aebra Coe
Law360 (September 2, 2020, 7:39 PM EDT) -- More law firms will likely follow suit after Baker McKenzie announced both layoffs and pay increases this week, with firms moving away from the pandemic stopgap measure of pay reductions as the year wanes and instead making strategic cuts to areas that are no longer needed, busy or profitable, experts say.
The strategy many law firms took early on in the coronavirus pandemic to preserve capital and avoid dissolution in the midst of an unprecedented and unpredictable situation was to slash pay across the board, from partners to associates to administrative staff.
The move was essentially a way to stop the bleeding of capital as the economy was shuttered amid the spread of the virus, said Michael Blanchard, managing director of Aon PLC's law firm advisory team.
But across-the-board pay cuts are not a good long-term strategy to address the current environment, in which many law firms are seeing some practice areas with a lack of work and others that are busier than ever, Blanchard said.
"The strategy at first was hunker down, build up cash and build up your balance sheet," Blanchard said. "Once more information came in, firms began to get a better idea of the longer-term changes caused by the pandemic, and they are starting to see what those changes have to be and they're acting on it."
Baker McKenzie said Tuesday that it is laying off 6% of its workforce in North America — both lawyers and staff — and plans to reverse pandemic-related pay cuts in the new year.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP similarly said on Tuesday that it plans to restore its previous pay reductions by half and will lay off some staff. And in July, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP announced it would roll back previously announced pay cuts by half, while laying off a "very small proportion" of its workforce.
While instituting both pay increases and layoffs at once may seem counterintuitive, it actually makes sense in that law firms are reorganizing and adjusting to the new business environment by directing resources where they will be the most useful going forward, according to Peter Zeughauser, a longtime law firm management consultant at The Zeughauser Group.
For many law firms, the overall financial picture is now generally strong, Zeughauser said, and firms are making cuts in pockets of underproductivity and then putting their resources toward talent in the areas where they see strength.
"A material segment of the market is having better years than they expected they would before this happened. They're going to be proceeding with regular annual pay increases and looking for talent," he said. "And so if firms want to protect their talent, they have to pay market [salaries]."
In addition to layoffs related to some practice areas that have seen a downturn in business due to the economic slowdown, law firms are also adjusting staffing because the pandemic has transformed how they operate and how they view their staffing needs, according to Jill Huse, co-founder of consultancy Society 54.
"With lawyers and staff adapting to their new work-from-home environments, people are becoming more self-sufficient and relying less on support staff," Huse said. "Law firms are looking at the decreased productivity of those professionals who aren't timekeepers to evaluate job necessity. This is a short-term solution that is being dictated by our physical environment, but it could have lasting effects on the structure of our firms as we all learn how to work differently."
Silvia Coulter, co-founding principal of LawVision, also said the way law firms do business is fundamentally shifting as a result of the pandemic.
"It is no longer necessary to be on planes all the time, to be in person all the time, to be practicing inefficiently when technology tools can help redefine the development and delivery methods," Coulter said. "With that change comes the opportunity to review current processes and improve."
The trend of cutting staff positions that attorneys have become less reliant on has been going on for some time, but was accelerated by the pandemic, according to Zeughauser. It is both a cost-cutting effort and a long-term strategic move, he said, and firms seem to view the final months of 2020 as a good time to do it so they can pay out severance packages and start fresh in 2021.
"These firms already know their year this year won't be as good as they'd hoped," Zeughauser said. "The thinking is they might as well take their medicine now since the partners are already expecting a tough year and then achieve the full benefit of the savings next year."
Zeughauser said he expects more layoffs. Often law firm leaders "don't want to be the first," and although there has been a trickle of layoffs already this year, Baker McKenzie's announcement was highly visible and notable due to the size of the firm.
"Firms are all in the mode right now of thinking about it and planning it. The fact that Baker McKenzie did it publicly will cause the people who say, 'Let's not be the first,' to say, 'We can go now.'"
--Editing by Brian Baresch and Alanna Weissman.
Thank you Professor Angela Downs of the UNT Dallas College of Law for allowing me to speak with your 1st year law students about the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program/Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC). Our collaboration goes back several years and the staff and I look forward to many more. Other distinguished guest speakers were the Honorable Gena Slaughter Presiding over the 191st District Court, Honorable Paula Rosales Presiding over County Court at Law #4, Honorable Dale Tillery Presiding over the 134th District Court, Felicia Pitre District Clerk for Dallas County, and Attorney Al Ellis who has been heavily involved with the law school since its inception.
The Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) would like to announce Ms. Velda Eaton as the Volunteer of the Month for July 2020. Velda is a great volunteer who is a joy to work with and is more than willing to help Dallas litigants resolve their disputes. On behalf of the staff here at the DCDRC, thank you for your time, commitment, and dedication to the DCDRC, the Dallas Courts, and the residents of Dallas County. This recognition will be on display in the DCDRC lobby for all to see. Congratulations!
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