As Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road. . . . take it[!]” Our lives present us all with choices—personal and professional. My professional life has been filled with efforts to create more choices of process and ethical and political commitments to seek a more just world. I began as a poverty and civil rights lawyer and sought effective and creative ways to solve problems, notably when court-based solutions were too “brittle” and binary and did not solve the underlying problem. I have looked at legal problem solving through the lens of interdisciplinary approaches to negotiation, diplomacy, mediation, and litigation, and more hybridized forms of dispute resolution and legal problem solving. I have often and proudly challenged conventional notions of adversarial and assumed competitive processes of negotiation and litigation, and I have often asked how other perspectives (feminist, other excluded voices, socio-legal realist) and other disciplines (e.g., political science, sociology, decision sciences, psychology, anthropology, planning, and community and organizational development) might broaden or even alter the way we first frame and then attempt to solve a problem. I have also always applied an ethical (moral, legal, and practical) filter to those choices we make and how we evaluate them.
I am deeply honored by and appreciative of this retrospective and prospective look at my work and how others relate to it as they apply their own thinking to the issues of justice and peace, especially in these troubled times. In this published version of my keynote talk, I hope to continue this inquiry: What are some of the different methods, approaches, frames, and issues to be used to try to create a better world? We have choices and different processes, substantive and ethical pluralism, and we should be mindful of the many ways we can pursue a variety of goals.
Choices: The Many Routes to Justice and Peace with Dispute Resolution, Ethics, and Feminism,
Tex. A&M L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/LR.V10.I1.1