The Human Resources Director of a federal public defender’s state district office sought help with a conflict occurring between an attorney and a legal assistant. This relationship was both damaging to the office environment and disruptive to clients. As a result of this apparent interpersonal conflict, including a lack of clear communication between the involved parties, larger and more serious issues related to client cases were emerging.
Our Peacebuilder completed her analysis through one-on-one interviews with 5 personnel from the office, including the Branch Manager. After building rapport and collecting data, our Peacebuilder completed one-onone coaching sessions with all participants to prepare for a facilitated dialogue. A facilitated dialogue between the parties was held, and an agreement for moving forward productively was reached. Our Peace Process Facilitator made sure that communication between the Peacebuilder, Federal Public Defender, and HR remained clear and confidential.
- A non-legally binding agreement was created between the attorney and the legal assistant, as well as between the attorney and the legal assistant’s supervisor. These agreements were shared with the Branch Manager to ensure accountability.
- Following the success of this Peacemaking process, the Federal Public Defender requested coaching for all head attorneys throughout the state. This led to 12 weeks of conflict management group coaching with a focus on improving communication and conflict