9 Disp. Resol. Mag. 19 (2002-2003)
Court Program Funding

handle is hein.journals/disput9 and id is 59 raw text is: Court Program Funding
Advice from the trenches

By Sheila Purcell

I               I1@1JPA .11
unding a court ADR program
takes creativity and time-and it
involves going to a variety of
sources that may take you in directions
you never imagined.
This article focuses on approaches
for seeking long-term funding for staff-
ing and operating a court ADR program.
Having survived the startup phase of a
program now it its sixth year, I will draw
some examples from the mid-sized San
Mateo County, California Court's Multi-
option ADR Project (MAP) I direct-as
well as a number of other state and fed-
eral programs. While every locale has its
own opportunities, peculiarities and lim-
itations, you will likely glean some ideas
from others' experiences.
Look on the Internet or
see if your community has
a grants library or other
nonprofit support center
that houses information on
funders and grant research
and writing.
Techniques for initial funding
Let's say you have patched together
a program with existing staff and some
pro bono service by neutrals. You may
even have a judge who has provided
leadership to begin an experiment that
receives grant or pilot money. If this
Sheila Purcell is the Director of the
Multi-Option ADR Project in San Mateo, Calif.
She can be reached at
spurcell@sanmateocourt.org.

sounds familiar, you are in good com-
pany and in a great position. But you
must quickly turn your attention to long-
term funding.
To do this, you'll need to simultane-
ously:
* create a small pilot program including
possible partnerships within the ADR
and legal communities
. produce a body of data to document
the impact of your program
- develop a system for handling, track-
ing and evaluating cases, and look ahead
two to five years to develop a phased
strategic plan.
The importance of grants
In San Mateo, litigators worked
alongside ADR neutrals and local judges
to plan and design a project with the
shared aim of helping the court set timely

civil trials. This partnership produced
the Multi-Option ADR Project (MAP),
which began in 1996 with a grant from
the San Mateo County Bar Association.
The grant provided a salary for an ADR
Director and I was hired. This financial
help was critical because it bought time.
First, it permitted me to educate myself
by reading what I could from the Admin-
istrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and
asking other staff, judges and the court
CEO about the budget process. Second,
it gave me time to seek more permanent
funding.
Grants have also played a major role
in funding some other state programs.
Alaska, for example, has sought and
received federal grants to fund its Child
in Need of Aid Juvenile Dependency
Mediation Program. For more informa-
tion, look on the Internet or see if
your community has a grants library

Dispute Resolution Magazine                                                    Winter 2003

Dispute Resolution Magazine

Winter 2003

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