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<xTITLE>Justice For All: Battling Bias In The Courts</xTITLE>

Justice For All: Battling Bias In The Courts

by Diane J. Levin
November 2009

From Mediation Channel

Diane J. Levin

Justice should be blind

Bias does its greatest damage undetected, operating beneath the radar of our awareness or even contrary to our conscious intentions.

Bias can be costly, imposing what researchers have described as a “stereotype tax“, affecting everything from negotiating to hiring decisions. Unconscious bias can exclude qualified people from jobs or educational opportunities. Because of biases and assumptions about their counterpart on the other side of the table, negotiators are more likely to leave value on the table.

Bias is pervasive. It can be found where it is least welcomed, even in courthouses where justice should be blind and balanced, treating equally and with fairness all who come before the law.

To combat implicit bias and to raise awareness of its dangers in America’s courthouses, the National Center for State Courts has gathered on its web site an impressive collection of articles and videos on social cognition, judicial deliberation, and decision making, including these:

Also included is a link to Project Implicit, the ongoing research project into unconscious bias.

Biography


Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property issues, and serves on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Training and coaching are an enduring passion -- she has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators -- from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.

 

A geek at heart, Levin consults on web design and social media to professionals.  She blogs about ADR at the intersection of law, science, and popular culture at the award-winning MediationChannel.com, regarded as one of the world's top ADR blogs.  She also tracks and catalogues ADR blogs world-wide at ADRblogs.com, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about constructive ways to resolve disputes.

 

web site: http://dianelevin.com



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