Alfini on Judge Richard Enslen

FOI Jim Alfini (South Texas) sends this follow up to his announcement of Judge Enslen’s death on the list serv last week.

This past week, we lost a pioneer in the modern ADR movement. Judge Richard Enslen passed away at the age of 83. As Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Judge Enslen was responsible for encouraging numerous ADR innovations, including the use of mediation and summary jury trials. In his biography in Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia, after recounting numerous constitutional law decisions that brought him into national prominence, the entry states that Judge Enslen will probably be best remembered for his procedural reforms, particularly in the ADR field. He promoted these reforms through numerous appearances at conferences in the 1980s and 1990s. He also made scholarly contributions.  Among his early writings was “ADR: Another Acronym or a Viable Alternative to the High Cost of Litigation and Crowded Court Dockets? The Debate Commences”, 18 N. Mexico L. Rev. 1 (1988). Pamela Chapman Enslen, his wife, has also been a leader in our field, having chaired the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution. Pam currently serves as the Section’s representative on the ABA Board of Governors. It is with deep sadness that we pass on our condolences to Pam and the rest of Richard’s family.

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