Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation Clinic
The Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation Clinic was established in cooperation with the federal court in 2009. The Eastern District federal judges have more Section 1983 prisoner civil rights cases per judge than any other federal court in the nation. Under Section 1983 of a Reconstruction era Civil Rights Act, prisoners in state prisons have the right to sue in federal court to seek relief for alleged violation of rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal statute. The Clinic provides law students with the unique opportunity to co-mediate these prisoner civil rights cases with a federal magistrate judge. Professors Michael Colatrella and Dorothy Landsberg teach the Clinic.
Michael Colatrella is an expert in alternative dispute resolution. He is the co-author of the interdisciplinary text, Mediation: Skills & Techniques that is widely used in law schools, graduate schools, and schools of diplomacy. Colatrella authored an interdisciplinary article, "A 'Lawyer For All Seasons': The Lawyer as Conflict Manager," which explores why interpersonal conflict management principles and skills are increasingly essential to good lawyering. The thought-provoking article was published in 2012 in the San Diego Law Review.