Maryland Courts



Recognizing the many benefits achievable though the use of ADR processes, as well as significant successes in other states, the Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, created the Maryland ADR Commission in 1998. He charged the Commission with advancing the appropriate use of mediation and other innovative conflict resolution processes throughout Maryland’s courts, neighborhoods, schools, government agencies, criminal and juvenile justice programs, and businesses. Chaired by Chief Judge Bell, ADR Commission members included judges, public officials, legislators, ADR practitioners, community members, lawyers, business representatives, educators and others.

Working with over 700 people around the state, the ADR Commission developed a consensus-based Practical Action Plan titled Join the Resolution. To implement the plan, the ADR Commission evolved into MACRO (Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office), which currently supports pilot projects and offers assistance to numerous ADR programs, educational efforts, and services in courts, schools, community mediation centers, State’s Attorney’s offices, juvenile justice programs and government agencies across the state.

Maryland has won national acclaim for its multi-faceted approach to ADR as well as for the Maryland Judiciary’s leading role in helping to prevent disputes from reaching a stage at which court intervention is necessary.

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Current Initiatives

Some of MACRO’s current initiatives designed to advance the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) statewide include the following:

  • Quality Assistance: The goal of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (MPME) is to assist Maryland mediators, in all venues and from all approaches, to provide high quality mediation services to their clients. Symbolized by a tree with many roots and branches, the MPME integrates several voluntary approaches for enhancing mediators' skills and abilities to address the needs of their clients and grow as practitioners. Consumers can learn more about mediation and locate a mediator in their area by searching the MPME database online. See how MPME can help you.

  • Public Awareness: MACRO is continuing its multi-media public awareness campaign. One campaign product is a series of 24 colorful, creative posters with the theme “Mediation: It’s Your Solution.” Maryland as well as out-of-state court, school, government, and community mediation programs can customize the posters to display information about their own mediation programs. Other campaign products include three DVDs: “Connections,” about a high school culture change program; “Resolutionary People,” a portrait of five mediators in different contexts; and “How Shall We Mediate Thee,” a video featuring several mediators, which is a good training tool. Contact us to order customizable Mediation Posters or to request copies of DVDs.

  • Court ADR Program Self-Assessment: MACRO is working collaboratively with court ADR program coordinators and others to develop a web-based data collection and ADR program improvement system for Maryland’s court-based ADR programs. This system will enable court administrators to use the data to understand, improve, and capture the benefits of court ADR programs.

  • Grant Programs: MACRO provides funding to non-profit organizations and government entities that seek to develop or expand conflict resolution projects or that provide certain community mediation services. Learn more about available Grant Programs.