Wayne D. Brazil

Document Type



Hawaii was one of the first states to establish within its judiciary a Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The Center's mission is: to mediate major public policy disputes and to facilitate policy formulation dialogues, to design and help implement mediation and other ADR programs for state and local governmental agencies, to provide education about and training in mediation for the public and for employees of state and local government, and to oversee the extensive network of community mediation centers that provide grass-roots mediation services throughout the Islands. In November of 2005 the Center celebrated its 20th anniversary by sponsoring various activities and events. These included a series of seminars on the Uniform Mediation Act, a program on negotiating with the assistance of a judge, a "peace poster" contest for school children, and a colorful and spirited ceremony in the historic courtroom of the Hawaii Supreme Court. I was asked to be one of the speakers at that ceremony. I had two goals: (1) to help a wider audience understand why the courts in Hawaii have been so committed to providing ADR services, and (2) to try to capture the essence of the spirit that animates the Center's wonderful work. In pursuit of the first of these two ends, I contrasted the history and purposes of ADR programs in institutionally selfish courts with the history and purposes of court-sponsorship of ADR in Hawaii. The second goal was more elusive - but I hope I located, in my account of the special kind of "listening" the Center teaches, something close to the Center's spiritual center.