2021 ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION Q&A
P. Marshall Yoder
Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC, Harrisonburg
Title: Of Counsel
Other legal specialties: Corporate law, education law and mediation
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of North Carolina; law degree, Campbell University School of Law; master’s degree, Eastern Mennonite University
Children: Samuel and Benjamin
Fan of: University of North Carolina Tar Heels, Eastern Mennonite University Royals
and West Virginia Mountaineers
Favorite vacation spot: Banff in Alberta, Canada
Career mentors: The Hon. Franklin T. Dupree Jr.; Cecil Harrison; Donald E. Showalter
How has the pandemic affected dispute resolution? With court restrictions early on, there was a definite uptick in the number of people seeking mediation and collaborative practice. Like others, we have learned to conduct sessions via Zoom. … With people in extreme conflict, it has often helped that they do not have to be in the same physical space with the ability to trigger others.
How do restorative justice and collaborative practice principles apply to your practice? The principles of restorative justice shift the focus from punishment to the harm that was done and what can be addressed between the parties as well as their community to repair the harm. Under both practices, you start with the premise that people have the power to resolve their conflicts without the intervention of an adjudicator. My role is to help clients identify their underlying interests, which often do not neatly align with their legal positions or rights, and then work with them and the other parties and counsel to try and meet their interests as well as those of the other disputants.