There's No Place Like Home: Applying Dispute System Design Theory to Create a Foreclosure Mediation System
33 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2011 Last revised: 26 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 21, 2011
This article analyzes the theory of dispute system design when put into action to meet a current economic crisis. In partnership with the City of Milwaukee, Marquette University Law School designed and now operates a voluntary mediation program to deal with the foreclosure crisis. The creation of the Marquette Foreclosure Mediation Program (MFMP) is a case study in dispute system design. Because MFMP is unlike other foreclosure mediation programs - in that it is was designed in conjunction with and is now operated by a law school - the design structure and results analysis are unique and can provide important insights for foreclosure programs around the country.
This Article uses a dispute system design (DSD) framework to analyze the MFMP. After providing a brief history of the foreclosure crisis in Milwaukee, and the process design of MFMP, the Article then utilizes DSD to analyze MFMP on several different factors. The Article examines participation in the design, the suitability of mediation for this crisis, results thus far, and lessons in permeability and sustainability. Finally, we draw lessons for other designers - dispute system professionals, courts, and legislatures - in how to effectively manage this type of program.
Keywords: foreclosure, dispute systems design, dispute resolution
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