Virginia's Judicial System

Dispute Settlement Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

The Dispute Settlement Center celebrated, on October 12, 2000 at their beautiful facility in Norfolk, ten years of helping people resolve their own conflicts. The DSC was founded in 1990 by the Better Business Bureau under the direction of Laurie Grohowski, who served as its Executive Director until 1997. During its first year, with two part-time staff members, the DSC trained 20 individuals, received a grant from the Virginia Law Foundation, and conducted five mediations. Ten years have brought significant changes and growth as the community gained a keener awareness of the advantages of mediation in times of conflict. One of ten non-profit community mediation centers in Virginia, the Center during this past year conducted over 500 mediation sessions, served over 1,200 individuals, and provided conflict resolution skills training for 317.

At their Anniversary Celebration, Executive Director, Bob Glover, commented: "The heart and soul of community mediation is our belief in one another and how a group of trained citizens volunteering their time can help those involved in difficult situations, disputes and conflicts of all types to work collaboratively to resolve difficult issues themselves without relying on a court or the decisions of others telling them what they should do."

The highlight of the celebration was the presentation by Tom Vaughan, DSC Board Chairman, of "The Carrico Peacemaker Award" to Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico. The inscription on the beautiful award reads, "The Carrico Peacemaker Award, in recognition of vision and leadership that encourages the early resolution of disputes through mediation and by promoting the community's ability to reduce and prevent conflicts through peaceful and collaborative initiatives – established by the Dispute Settlement Center, Norfolk, Virginia, October 12, 2000." As the Chief received the award, he commented on the significance of the beautiful word "peacemaker," noting that there is nothing better people can do than to serve their fellowman. He said it is the volunteers who really deserve the accolades because they continue to demonstrate their dedication to the cause and their willingness to make personal sacrifices in order to help others. Chief Justice Carrico went on to note that mediation is just beginning, that a great deal has been accomplished, and that the General Assembly in the year 2000 allocated substantial additional funds for mediation. He said, "It is recognition that we mean business and can do the job." In closing the Chief remarked, "People in Norfolk are blessed to have this fine organization leading the way!"

The Tenth Anniversary Celebration also included special recognition of many of the key players in the organization since its inception, such as their Board of Trustees, DSC staff, mentor mediators, and community mediators serving five or more years. Appreciation was expressed to their partnership organizations for their vision and support of community mediation. A proclamation by the Mayor of Norfolk was read in recognition of the special occasion and the celebration culminated with a reception. Congratulations to the Dispute Settlement Center on its important contribution to promoting peace and harmony in its community!

ADR Resource Corner

CRInfo (pronounced "See Our Info") is a new free service, funded by the Hewlett Foundation, which uses the Internet to make quality conflict resolution information much more accessible to scholars, students, formal and informal intermediaries, journalists, disputants, and the general public. Far beyond being "just another website," CRInfo is a clearinghouse, or "super site," which provides links to, and information about, almost 5,000 resources; websites, books, articles, organizations, programs, events, scholars, job and career opportunities, education and training programs, and lists of practitioners working in the field. All of this information is annotated and coded, making it searchable with a variety of specialized browse and search tools.

In addition to the main edition, which highlights the full range of conflict topics and processes, users can access special topical editions which contain all the resources of the main edition, but highlight articles on specific topics. Current editions focus on business, interpersonal, intergroup, international, and environmental/public policy conflicts, and legal ADR (alternative dispute resolution). Users can also design their own edition focusing on topics of their choice. Since this project is foundation-funded, all of the information is available for free. For more information, go to or contact the project co-directors, Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess at [email protected].

MTI-Claremont Press, Inc. of Front Royal, Virginia, has launched a new web-based bookshop and resource site. Known as "Resolution Bookshop," the new venture has both a "bricks and mortar" location at the historic Garrison House, 15 Chester Street, Front Royal, Virginia, and on the worldwide web at In addition to selling books, tapes and software, the company also publishes both online and in hard copy. Resolution Bookshop will feature books and other media dealing primarily with conflict, mediation, facilitation, human resources, organizational behavior, psychology, well-being and business management. For further information, you may contact Charles P. Lickson at 540-636-8900.

For a complete conflict resolution and mediation site providing deep and broad content for both the public and practitioners, visit Over 700 articles and resources are posted. In addition to a new navigation system, there are both topical and text searches. offers information on over 5,500 conflict resolution practitioners, including a convenient referral service.

This page last modified: July 23, 2002