To assist panel attorneys in their relationship with ADI, we have named staff attorneys Neil Auwarter and Cindi Mishkin as informal panel liaisons, or "ombudsmen." Attorneys who have gripes, seek guidance with a problem, have questions, experience difficulties with another staff attorney, or for other reasons need special advice may contact Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 696-0284, ext. 27, or Cindi at email@example.com, or (619) 696-0284, ext. 55.
All contacts are strictly confidential and will in no way affect the attorney's standing with ADI. However, to obtain action on certain matters, the ombudsman may have to speak to someone else; s/he will not do so without first obtaining your permission. For example, only the executive director is authorized to provide information about an attorney's status on the panel. Although panel attorneys should not contact an ombudsman or other staff attorneys merely to "forum shop" until they get an answer they like, a panel attorney needing guidance in how to resolve a dispute with a staff attorney about a case-related issue or claim may contact an omdudsman about that matter. (See also Elaine Alexander's advice on "Disagreements with Staff Attorneys About Legal Judgments," ADI newsletter for June 2001, at pp. 3-4: PDF).
ADI hopes the ombudsman availability will help make life on the panel easier and strengthen our mutual understanding, for the benefit of the entire system.