The New York State Dispute Resolution Association, Inc. (NYSDRA) was established in 1985 as the informal New York State Association of Community Dispute Resolution Centers to serve as a neutral organization between the Judicial Branch of government, the Unified Court System, and other state entities in response to the growth of the community dispute resolution (DR) movement.
Since 1996, NYSDRA has also served as the professional association for DR experts practicing outside of the Unified Court System. Contracts are administered by NYSDRA and subcontracted by its member Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) which provide direct mediation, arbitration and other alternative forms of DR services. NYSDRA’s first contract was in 1989 with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, several additional contract programs were secured including the Lemon Law Arbitration program, the Special Education Mediation program, and the New York State Agricultural Mediation Program (NYSAMP).
NYSDRA opened membership beyond the CDRCs in 1996 to include individuals, both the volunteer practitioners who mediated for the centers as well as private practitioners in the field. The expanded membership better reflected the evolution of the field and encouraged all practitioners to interact and learn from one another. By providing training, advocacy, networking opportunities and a variety of valuable services to DR professionals, NYSDRA has been instrumental in the development and expansion of the conflict management profession in New York State.