For Immediate Release - October 28, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley Honored for Work on Dispute Mediation and Resolution

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley is being honored tonight with the 2009 Community Peacemaker Award in recognition of her longstanding support of consumer mediation programs and her strong advocacy of youth violence prevention. The award will be presented at the 30 th Annual "Spirit of Mediation" Gala, hosted by the Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC). The event will be held at The Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge.

"No one goes through life without experiencing conflict of one kind or another," said Attorney General Martha Coakley. "We are fortunate to have community organizations like the Community Dispute Settlement Center to help us peacefully resolve conflicts through the law, through the court and through voluntary mediation."

Established in 1979, the CDSC is a private, non-profit community center that offers mediation, training programs and community education on dispute resolution. The "Spirit of Mediation" Gala is CDSC's largest fundraising event and is held annually to celebrate individuals and organizations that have shown dedication in the field of mediation and dispute resolution. Along with Attorney General Coakley, Douglas Stone, co-author of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most and a lecturer at Harvard Law School, will also be recognized as a 2009 honoree.

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office values dispute resolution and community-based mediation as the cornerstones of civil society. Attorney General Coakley has worked with the CDSC for over 10 years, specifically with the SCORE Peer Mediation program, which teaches peaceful conflict resolution to high school students, and with the Face-to-Face Mediation Program, which mediates consumer complaints. In addition, Attorney General Coakley's Office provides grants to a statewide network of Local Consumer Programs, which are non-profit programs that handle consumer complaints in their own regions of the state. Information gathered from these mediation programs is used to identify trends of deceptive and unfair trade practices that may form the basis for legal action filed on behalf of affected consumers.

The 30 th Annual "Spirit of Mediation" Gala will be held at The Hotel Marlow located at 25 Edwin H. Land Boulevard, Cambridge, MA, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Attorney General Coakley is scheduled to accept her award at 7:00 p.m. Nearly 200 mediation professionals, supporters, donors, and advocates interested in dispute resolution will attend the event.