National Conference on the Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from Pound Conference)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Pound Conference -- formally known as the National Conference on the Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice -- "took place April 7-9, 1976 in Minneapolis, Minn. The event was a meeting of some 200 judges, legal scholars, and leaders of the bar who had gathered to examine concerns about the efficiency and fairness of court systems and their administration.

"During his keynote address at the Pound Conference, then U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger encouraged the increased exploration and use of informal dispute resolution processes. At the same meeting, Harvard Law School Professor Frank E.A. Sander, in an address titled "Varieties of Dispute Processing," called for periodic "impact statements" that would take a critical look at the accomplishments and challenges of mediation and other dispute resolution processes." [1] (also see) (also)


"Two critical masses of supporters arose in the 1970's from the diverse network of individuals and organizations who had experimented in fragmented ways with alternatives to adjudication. Social workers, community activists, legal services lawyers, law professors, and anthropologists formed the first critical mass that framed ADR as "community mediation." These individuals had worked and studied in the courts, social service agencies, Ford Foundation-funded community centers, and in Nonwestern settings that used informal dispute resolution. They criticized the courts for being unable to handle minor disputes in a satisfactory way and for limited access for less privileged disputants (i.e., poor people, ethnic and religious minorities, women, and the disabled). Judges, lawyers, and law professors formed a second critical mass that characterized ADR as a "multidoor courthouse". This group criticized the inefficiency of the courts, also linking their critiques to the litigation explosion and the influx of minor disputes...
"Community mediation took early shape in 1968 when the Ford Foundation began funding community programs to mediate racial conflicts. The Foundation funded the National Center for Dispute Settlement in 1968 (which later became the Community Dispute Service Center) with organizational support from the American Arbitration Association, and in 1970 funded the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Both of these programs trained community "interveners" to mediate intergroup conflict (Harrington 1985: 87-90). While the community interveners worked in the neighborhoods, the community mediation frame (also referred to as the "neighborhood justice model") took shape in a series of articles by anthropologists and law professors." [3]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Reflections, PON, accessed August 3, 2008.
  2. THE ORIGIN OF MEDIATION, accessed August 3, 2008.
  3. Institutional Change Through Interstitial Emergence, University of Arizona, accessed August 3, 2008.