Michigan chief justice, seen as online court innovator, tapped to lead nonprofit organization

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Judge McCormack

Judge Bridget McCormack. Photo by by Wayne Slezak/ABA Journal.

Following 10 years on the Michigan Supreme Court, Bridget McCormack is leaving her position as the chief justice and joining the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution, where she will be the president and CEO.

She starts the position at the nonprofit organization—which focuses on the field of alternative dispute resolution—in February, the Detroit Free Press reports. A 2021 ABA Journal Legal Rebel, McCormack helped create MI-Resolve, an online dispute resolution system for Michigan litigants with small-money cases.

And at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the former legal aid attorney and clinical law professor created a virtual courtroom task force, which published in April 2020 online hearing standards and guidelines. The writing directed courts to post daily dockets online with instructions about hearings access.

“My experience with MI-Resolve and with shifting courts online during the pandemic made very clear something I already knew—justice is not a place but a process. And there is no one-size-fits-all formula for that process,” McCormack told the ABA Journal in an email.

She added that for some disputes, a noncourt, online platform such as MI-Resolve is perfect, while online court options can also be better for litigants and lawyers.

McCormack is the chair-elect of the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and is a board member of the ABA Center for Innovation’s governing council. She was recently named as a strategic adviser with the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Future of the Profession Initiative.

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