The Mediation Center of the Pacific Receives 2024 Gumpert Award


$150,000 Grant to help increase housing stability by providing mediation assistance

HONOLULU, HAWAII. (May 24, 2024) - The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) has selected The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Inc. (MCP) as the 2024 Emil Gumpert Award recipient. The award, the highest honor conferred by the American College of Trial Lawyers on a single organization annually, recognizes programs whose principal purpose is to maintain and improve the administration of justice. The Award includes a $150,000 grant funded by the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

“MCP is honored to be the 2024 recipient of the esteemed Emil Gumpert Award,” said Tracey Wiltgen, MCP Executive Director. “The award will enable us to grow the Early Eviction Mediation (EEM) program and help more landlords and tenants negotiate payment plans and avoid the eviction process. Evictions are harmful for everyone involved. Finding ways to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants through EEM will help to increase housing stability in Hawaii.”

To meet its mission of providing high quality mediation and dispute resolution services that are affordable and accessible for all, over the past 45 years, MCP has developed processes and programs that help participants work through disputes of all types and meet the unique needs of Hawaii’s culturally diverse populations. Parties in conflict are assisted in resolving their immediate dispute, as well as in improving communication and strengthening their relationships for the future. In 2021, MCP created and implemented the EEM program following the ending of the moratorium on evictions that was ordered by Governor Ige during the pandemic. In the one-year period the program was in effect, MCP mediated 1,342 early eviction cases with 1,172 or 85% resulting in written agreements. In 90% of the cases (involving over 1,055 tenants) that reached agreement, the tenants were able to remain in the rental unit.

The $150,000 grant will be used to increase housing stability by keeping tenants in their residences or alternately, providing them with sufficient time to find an alternate location they can afford.

“The College is thrilled to present our Emil Gumpert Award to MCP in support of their Early Eviction Mediation Program,” said ACTL President Bill Murphy. “By helping prevent eviction through high-quality mediation and dispute resolution, MCP is providing housing stability and family security for some of Hawaii’s most vulnerable populations. With 90% of their cases reaching agreement, enabling tenants to remain housed, the success for the program speaks for itself. The College is proud to support such a worthy project.”

To read the full press release, click here.