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Maryland Judiciary
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For Immediate Release CONTACT:

Angelita Plemmer
Terri Bolling
(410) 260-1488

Judiciary’s Family Administration Honored for Conflict Resolution Efforts

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – April 18, 2011) The Maryland Judiciary’s Department of Family Administration is being honored for its work in conflict resolution. Community Mediation Maryland announced that the Family Administration Department is the 2011 recipient of its Commitment to Collaborative Conflict Resolution Award.

“We present this award each year to recognize a group that is working to implement conflict resolution statewide,” said Lorig Charkoudian, executive director of Community Mediation Maryland. “The Department of Family Administration was chosen for its work to make sure that high-quality parenting plan mediation services are available to low-income families throughout Maryland.”

The Department of Family Administration helps Maryland’s courts create comprehensive family law services. Family Administration has overseen the creation of family divisions in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Prince George's County, and family services programs in the remaining 19 counties. The department works with judges, masters, court administrators and family support services coordinators to develop family law policy and to identify and promote best practices in the handling of domestic and juvenile cases.

“Our goal is to improve the lives of families and children who come to Maryland’s courts,” said Connie Kratovil-Lavelle, executive director of the Department of Family Administration. “We have seen that many parents are able to resolve their disputes regarding custody, visitation and parenting if they have the opportunity to mediate those disputes. We have also seen that agreements created by the parties themselves, whether with the assistance of mediators, collaborative lawyers or other facilitators, are often sustainable agreements such that the parties are not repeatedly returning to court for protracted litigation. Not surprisingly, an obstacle is cost. Our partnership with CMM allows parties in these cases to have the benefit of alternative dispute resolution where they may otherwise have not been to afford it. We’ve worked with CMM to develop the protocols and training for free mediation services that we’ve put into action in nine counties.”

The Department of Family Administration will receive the award during Community Mediation Maryland’s Annual Gala on May 14 in Annapolis. Several individuals will also receive “Making it Happen” certificates of appreciation, including: St. Mary’s County Circuit Judge Karen Abrams; Kent County Circuit Judge Paul M. Bowman; Frederick County Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer; Talbot County Circuit Judge Broughton M. Earnest; Carroll County Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway; Caroline County Circuit Judge Karen Murphy Jensen, Queen Anne’s County Circuit Judge Thomas G. Ross; Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Cathy Hollenberg Serrette; Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge J. Michael Wachs; Dorchester County Circuit Judge Brett W. Wilson; Talbot County Circuit Court Master Jamie Adkins; Caroline County Circuit Court Master Joanne Asparagus; Jenny Bern, alternative dispute resolution coordinator for the Frederick County Circuit Court; John Cambardella, family services coordinator for the Caroline County Circuit Court; Robin Derwin, associate director of the family services division for the Prince George’s County Circuit Court; Linda Grove, family services coordinator; Blanche Harris of the Department of Family Administration; JoAnne Kreider, mediation coordinator; B. Lynn Macpherson, family services coordinator for the Frederick County Circuit Court; Lynn Miller, domestic violence clinician and court mediator for the Prince George’s County Circuit Court; Frederick Country Circuit Court Master Julie Minnerand; Barbara Mitchell, family services coordinator for the Talbot County Circuit Court; Carroll County Circuit Court Master Jeffrey Moffatt; Lionel Moore, director of the family services division for the Prince George’s County Circuit Court; Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Master Patrick Palmer; Frederick County Circuit Court Master Richard Sandy; Rebecca K. Taylor, family services coordinator for the Kent County Circuit Court; and Powel Welliver, family law administrator.

For more information about Community Mediation Maryland and its Annual Gala, visit

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