The Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals (ACAN) announced today that it has created a new “find a neutral” feature on its website. People interested in locating a neutral to assist a court (or other arbiter) will now be able not only to search the profiles of ACAN’s membership by name, location and area of expertise, but also to submit listings for posting to ACAN’s membership.
ACAN President, David Tenner, explained, “we hope to make it a best practice for courts and counsel seeking to locate neutrals to search broadly. Often people locate neutrals solely by relying on their own knowledge or asking others about their experiences. But that limits the search to people they already know or know of. We can do better.” He added, “a court should expect that recommendations on who to choose as a neutral be based not just on a private word of mouth, but on a review of a group that is diverse in background, skills, and experience. Posting to ACAN’s membership is a way courts and parties can learn of and consider a more diverse list of highly-skilled candidates.”
ACAN Executive Director Merril Hirsh added, “we are excited about creating new pathways for people to receive opportunities to serve in our profession. ACAN opened its membership to people who have not previously served as court-appointed neutrals, announced a first-of-its-kind training and mentoring program to help bring people into the profession, renamed our organization (formerly the Academy of Court-Appointed Masters) to reflect the broader and flexible service our members provide, and reached out to partner with dozens of organizations to expand the ways in which its members can serve the administration of justice. Providing a new way to search for neutrals from the broader list of membership we continue to work to create is a logical next step.”