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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2016

Mediation professional that has been trained to respond to the victim and the victim family members’ needs regarding the developments in the case from the defense perspective. Th is is not to be confused with the prosecutorial Victim Advocate. Th e VOS establishes a fl ow of communication from the victim and victim family members to the defense team. Th e work of the VOS is strictly driven by the needs and desires of those survivors. Th e VOS is NOT a member of the defense and therefore is not privy to defense strategies, work product or confi dential communications with the defendant. Victim Outreach Services is rooted in three main principles of Restorative Justice (RJ) – (1) Crime is a violation of people and of interpersonal relationships; (2) Violations create obligations; and (3) Th e central obligation is to put right the wrongs.2 Using Mediation Skills to Help Victims of Crimes A professional trained in mediation has many of the foundational skills to successfully assist victims of crime navigate through the overwhelming legal process. With additional training in Victim Outreach, the mediator will fi nd that many of the skills that makes one eff ective in mediation will greatly assist in victim outreach - Th e ability to listen eff ectively and deeply, the ability to exercise fl exibility and creativity, having a sharp intuition, a thorough understanding of the legal system and the ability to explain it in plain and simple terms, and an abundance of empathy, compassion and integrity. Liberation On March 7, 2016, Aundra Boykins accepted responsibility for the crime he committed upon his sister and her son. Th at was the fi rst day since the crime that Miranda had seen her brother. Th e judge allowed Miranda and Aundra to meet in private with their attorneys present. She told me all she wanted to do was hug him and she did. She also forgave him and in her words, “I’m no longer in bondage. I feel free now.” Cassandra W. Adams, MPH, JD, is Assistant Dean, Public Interest Program – Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. Th e views and opinions contained in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily refl ect the views of any entity with which she is affi liated. (Endnotes) 1 Ms. Phyllis Lane was Miranda Boykins’ and Aundra Boykins’ mother. She passed away on September 13, 2014, 10 days after her 61st birthday. 2 Howard Zehr. Th e Little Book of Restorative Justice. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2002. Guided by Rodney A. Max, center, and Michael B. Walls, right, our experienced team also comprises Brad Wash, Arthur J. Hanes Jr. and Marty Van Tassel. They assist law firms and their clients in every phase of dispute resolution, settling major litigation in Alabama and nationwide. 2000A SouthBridge Parkway, Suite 400, Birmingham, AL 35209; 205-933-9033 Upchurch Watson White & Max BIRMINGHAM’S MEDIATION DESTINATION Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2016 31


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2016
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