Outstanding Voluteer: Peter Mankin
The Contra Costa County Superior Court would like to nominate Peter Mankin for his outstanding volunteer work in furtherance of the civil Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.
Mankin recalls the 1970s, when lawyers usually had to come to court three or four times before they were assigned a judge and could begin trial. At that time, it was not uncommon for cases to be bumping against the five year statute to bring a matter to trial. The court would call the case, one witness would testify, and the matter was sent for another date. The advent of ADR, with Mankin donating many many hours of this time, changed all of that.
In the early 1980s, Mankin was part of the “Bench Bar Settlement Program” which did only settlement conferences. Under Judge James Marciano’s leadership, Mankin and others created the “Early Assistance to Settle Early” (EASE) program. Mankin and others volunteered to help get matters resolved. Over time, this program became our current mediation program and Mankin continues to volunteer his time as a mediator. Mankin also volunteered for the “SMART” program which is now the court’s day of trial Settlement Mentor program.
In 2013, in the wake of losing several commissioners, including the court’s full-time discovery commissioner, the judges were swamped with limited civil jurisdiction cases as well as discovery disputes. In an attempt to alleviate the burden on the courts, Mankin and other attorneys from the Contra Costa County Bar Association met with the civil judges to create and launch the Discovery Facilitator Program. Mankin was part of the first group of volunteers that ensured the success of this program. He continues in this role, now that the program is an essential component of the court’s ADR program.
Mankin also volunteers his time as a leader within the structures that support ADR in our county. He served for many years as a member of the CCCBA’s ADR Section, facilitating communication between the local bar, judges and the court. In addition to his work with the CCCBA, Mankin is also an active member of the court’s ADR Committee, meeting regularly with judges, plaintiff and defense attorneys and mediators to ensure that the court’s program meets the needs of the public.