The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee presented its Special Recognition Award to Stewart J. Greenleaf in Hershey on June 8.

The Senator was honored for his sponsorship of a resolution that was approved by the General Assembly to initiate a study of new applications for and best practices in mediation and other methods of conflict resolution.

Senator Greenleaf is also the author of statutes providing for divorce and custody mediation and initial mediation confidentiality. He will serve as chair of the Joint State Government Commission bipartisan panel that will be studying the use of ADR in the commonwealth. The panel will report its findings and make recommendations on how to better educate citizens on the uses of ADR in civil courts, schools, communities, government, business, juvenile and criminal courts, and other settings.

ADR involves the use of trained, impartial third parties in mediation, facilitation, structured dialogue, consensus building, neutral case evaluation, arbitration, and mini-trials. The goal is to reach agreement through negotiations to reduce anger and hard feelings that often result from litigation, while saving money by reducing court caseloads and costs for the parties in the dispute.