James J. Alfini

Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus

B.A., Columbia University
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Constitutional Law
  • Judicial Ethics
  • Mediation



Office: 636T

JAMES J. ALFINI is Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus. Prior to his arrival at STCL, Dean Alfini was Professor of Law at Northern Illinois University, where he taught constitutional law, mediation theory and practice, legal ethics, and related courses.  He served as dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Law for six years and previously was a member of the law faculty at Florida State University.

James Alfini is widely published in the field of judicial ethics and is co-author of Judicial Conduct and Ethics, published by Lexis and in its 4th Edition (2007).  He served on the American Bar Association Joint Commission to Evaluate the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.  The Commission’s work resulted in the 2007 Model Code of Judicial Conduct, adopted by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.

Alfini also has expertise in dispute resolution.  While at Florida State, he served as Director of Education and Research of the Florida Dispute Resolution Center and was a member of the Florida Supreme Court Arbitration and Mediation Rules Committee. He was also a member of the AAA/ABA/SPIDR Committee that drafted the Standards of Conduct for Mediators in 1994.  He has served as Chair of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section and Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. He has published numerous books and articles on ADR, including the co-edited ADR Personalities and Practice Tips published by the American Bar Association and the co-authored  Mediation Theory and Practice, a law school textbook published by Lexis Law Publishing.

Dean Alfini  received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his J. D. from Northwestern University.


The Last Days of Night and Bridge of Spies Showcase Lawyers’ Problem-Solving Skills, 24 Disp. Resol. Mag., Summer 2018 at 20.

Thoughts in Remembrance of Professor Dan Reynolds: Truly One of a Kind, 38 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 199 (2017).

Centennial Year Reminiscences, 97 Judicature 124 (2013).

Lawyer Colonization Of Family Mediation: Consequences And Implications, 95 Marq. L. Rev. 887 (2012). (with Debra Berman)

Supreme Court Ethics: The Need For Greater Transparency And Accountability, 21 Prof. Law., Summer 2012, at 10.

Future Trends in Judicial Ethics: The Influence of Cyberspace, 51 S. Tex. L. Rev. 851 (2010).

Judicial Ethics, the Internet, and Social Media, The Bencher (Nov./Dec. 2010).

First Amendment Limits on the Regulation of Judicial Campaign Speech: Defining the Government’s Interest, 157 U. Pa. L. Rev. PENNumbra 76 (2008). (with Paul E. McGreal)(www.pennumbra.com/debates/debate.php?did=18)

Mediation as a Calling: Addressing the Disconnect Between Mediation Ethics and the Practices of Lawyer Mediators, 49 S. Tex. L. Rev. 829 (2008).

Professor R. Hanson Lawton: a Remembrance, 48 S. Tex. L. Rev. 831 (2007).

Foreword: Centennial Reflections on Roscoe Pound’s 1906 Address to the American Bar Association: Fanning the Spark that Kindled the White Flame of Progress, 48 S. Tex. L. Rev. 849 (2007).

Dealing with Judicial Misconduct in the States: Judicial Independence, Accountability and Reform, 48 S. Tex. L. Rev. 889 (2007). (with Shailey Gupta-Brietzke & James F. McMartin, IV)

Making the Case for Legal Education and the Legal Profession, 37 U. Tol. L. Rev. 1 (2005).

Association for Conflict Resolution Annual Conference 2003 – the World of Conflict Resolution: a Mosaic of Possibilities Session on Justice in Mediation, 5 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 187 (2004).(with Jonathan M. Hyman, Lela P. Love, Joseph B. Stulberg & Ellen A. Waldman)

The Role of the Organized Bar in State Judicial Selection Reform: the Year 2000 Standards, 106 Dick. L. Rev. 683 (2002). (with Jarrett Gable)

Judicial Campaign Conduct Gone Wrong, 41 Judges’ J., Summer 2002, at 18. (with Julie Schuetz)

Mediation’s Coming of (Legal) Age, 22 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 153 (2002).

Mediating in the Shadow of the Courts: a Survey of the Emerging Case Law, 54 Ark. L. Rev. 171 (2001). (with Catherine G. McCabe)

E2K Leaves Mediation in an Ethics ‘Black Hole’, 7 Disp. Resol. Mag., Spring 2001, at 3.

From the Chair: a Year of “Hot Button” Issues, 6 Disp. Resol. Mag., Summer 2000, at 3.

From the Chair: Section Leads Collaborative Initiatives among American Bar Association, 6 Disp. Resol. Mag., Spring 2000, at 2.

From the Chair: the ADR Field and Collaboration, 6 Disp. Resol. Mag., Winter 2000, at 3.

Risk of Coercion Too Great: Judges Should Not Mediate Cases Assigned to Them for Trial, 6 Disp. Resol. Mag., Fall 1999, at 11. (reprinted in Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Judging: A Book for Student Clerks (Newark, NJ: LexisNexis Matthew Bender, 2002). (Chap. 6))

Settlement Ethics and Lawyering in ADR Proceedings: a Proposal to Revise Rule 4.1, 19 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 255 (1999).

Evaluative Versus Facilitative Mediation: a Discussion, 24 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 919 (1997).

Is There a Solution to the Problem of Lawyer Stress? The Law School Perspective, 10 J. L. & Health 61 (1995-1996). (with Joseph N. Van Vooren)

Should Lawyer-Mediators Be Prohibited from Providing Legal Advice or Evaluations? Disp. Resol. Mag., Spring 1994, at 8.

What Happens When Mediation is Institutionalized?: to the Parties, Practitioners, and Host Institutions, 9 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 207 (1994).

Dispute Resolution Alternatives: What We Know and What We Need to Know, 82 Ill. B.J. 130 (1994).

On the Effectiveness of Voir Dire in Criminal Cases with Prejudicial Pretrial Publicity: an Empirical Study, 40 Am. U. L. Rev. 665 (1991). (with Norbert L. Kerr, Geoffrey P. Kramer, & John S. Carroll)

Trashing, Bashing, and Hashing it Out: Is this the End of “Good Mediation”? 19 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 47 (1991).

The 1990 Code of Judicial Conduct: an Overview, 74 Judicature 21 (1990). (with Jeffrey M. Shaman & Steven Lubet)

Special Report: Ethical Dilemmas in Divorce Mediation, 4 Alternative Disp. Resol. Rep. 149 (1990).

Summary Jury Trials in State and Federal Courts: a Comparative Analysis of the Perceptions of Participating Lawyers, 39 Def. L.J. 251 (1990).

Ethical Constraints on Judicial Election Campaigns: a Review and Critique of Canon 7, 77 Ky. L.J. 671 (1990). (with Terrence J. Brooks)

Doing Justice in a Bureaucracy: the Need to Reconcile Contemporary Judicial Roles in Light of Ethical and Administrative Imperatives, 54 Mo. L. Rev. 323 (1989).

Summary Jury Trials in State and Federal Courts: a Comparative Analysis of the Perceptions of Participating Lawyers, 4 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 213 (1989).

Court-annexed Arbitration: a Review of the Institute for Civil Justice Publications, 12 Just. Sys. J. 260 (1987). (with Richard W. Moore)

Florida’s Court Sponsored Mediation Programs: a Statistical Profile, Fla. Disp. Resol. Center Newsl., Summer 1987, at 2.

Free Press and Fair Trial: the Role of Behavioral Research, 10 Law & Hum. Behav. 187 (1986). (with John S. Carroll, Norbert L. Kerr, Frances M. Weaver, Robert J. MacCoun, & Valerie Feldman)

Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Courts: an Introduction, 69 Judicature 252 (1986).

Toward Understandable Jury Instructions, 65 Judicature 432 (1982).

Case Processing in State Misdemeanor Courts: the Effect of Defense Attorney Presence, 6 Just. Sys. J. 100 (1981). (with Patricia M. Passuth)

The Misdemeanor Courts: Introductory Essay, 6 Just. Sys. J. 5 (1981).

Trial Judges’ Participation in Plea Bargaining: an Empirical Perspective, 13 Law & Soc’y Rev. 479 (1979). (with John Paul Ryan)

The Trend Toward Judicial Merit Selection, 13 Trial, Nov. 1977, at 40.

Juridic Decisions: in Ignorance of the Law or in Light of It? 1 Law & Hum. Behav. 163 (1977). (with Bruce D. Sales & Amiram Elwork)

A New Perspective on Misdemeanor Justice, 60 Judicature 425 (1977). (with Rachel N. Doan)

Judicial Selection: Take Your Choice, 12 Trial, Jan. 1976, at 10.

Federal Abstention: New Perspectives on its Current Validity, 46 Miss. L.J. 628 (1975). (with Allan Ashman & Robert A. Shapiro)

Partisan Pressures on the Nonpartisan Plan,58 Judicature 216 (1974).


Judicial Scandal, 85 Judicature 202 (2002)(reviewing Kenneth A. Manaster, Illinois Justice: the Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens (2001)).

Justice System Management: a Critical Review of the Literature, 2 Just. Sys. J. 293 (1977).


Judicial Conduct and Ethics. 6th Ed. (New York: LexisNexis, 2020). (with Charles Gardner Geyh & James Sample.)

Mediation Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. (New Providence, NJ: LexisNexis, 2014). (with Sharon B. Press & Joseph B. Stulberg).

Mediation Theory and Practice: Teacher’s Manual. 3rd ed. (New Providence, NJ: LexisNexis, 2014). (with Sharon B. Press & Joseph B. Stulberg). EBOOK available online, via Overdrive.

Judicial Conduct and Ethics. 5th ed. (New Providence, N.J.: LexisNexis, 2013). (with Charles Gardner Geyh, Steven Lubet & Jeffrey M. Shaman)

Judicial Conduct and Ethics. 4th ed. (Newark, N.J.: LexisNexis, 2007). (with Steven Lubet, Charles Gardner Geyh & Jeffrey M. Shaman)

Mediation Theory and Practice. 2d ed. (Newark, N.J.: LexisNexis Matthew Bender, 2006).

Mediation Theory and Practice. (New York: Lexis Pub., 2001).

Judicial Conduct and Ethics. 3d ed. (Charlottesville, VA: Lexis Law, 2000). (with Jeffrey M. Shaman & Steven Lubet)

ADR Personalities and Practice Tips. (Washington, DC: American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, 1998). (with Eric Galton)

Judicial Conduct and Ethics. 2d ed. (Charlottesville, VA: Michie Co., 1995). (with Jeffrey M. Shaman & Steven Lubet)

Major Civil Case Mediation Pilot Program: 17th Judicial Circuit of Illinois: Preliminary Report. (DeKalb, Ill: College of Law, Northern Illinois University, 1994). (with Keith Schildt)

Judicial Conduct and Ethics. (Charlottesville, VA: Michie Co., 1990). (with Jeffrey M. Shaman & Steven Lubet)

Summary Judgment Trials in Florida: an Empirical Assessment. (Tallahassee: Florida Dispute Resolution Center, 1989).

Judicial Rulemaking: a Compendium. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1984). (with Chris A. Korbakes, Charles W. Grau & Donna J. Pugh)

Making Jury Instructions Understandable. (Charlottesville, VA: Michie Co., 1982). (with Amiram Elwork & Bruce Dennis Sales)

Misdemeanor Courts: Policy Concerns and Research Perspectives. (Washington, DC: U.S. National Institute of Justice, 1981).

Judicial Rulemaking in the State Courts: a Compendium: a Research Project of the American Judicature Society. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1978). (with Chris A. Korbakes & Charles W. Grau)

Intermim Technical Assistance Report to Discuss Potential Impact of Massachusetts District Court System. (Washington, DC: Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project, 1977). (with Margaret Kostrisky)

Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: a National Survey: a Research Project of the American Judicature Society. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1975).(with Allan Ashman)

The Key to Judicial Merit Selection: the Nominating Process. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1974). (with Allan Ashman)

Examination of the Administrative Operations of the Court of Appeals of the State of Illinois. (Washington, DC: American University, Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project, 1974). (with Allan Ashman & N.O. Stockmeyer)

Financing Massachusetts Courts: a Research Project of the American Judicature Society in Conjunction with Massachusetts Bar Foundation, Inc. and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (Massachusetts Chapter). (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1975).(with Allan Ashman)

Uses of the Judicial Rule-making Power. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1974).

Courthouses and Courtrooms; Selected Readings. (James J. Alfini, comp. & Glenn R. Winters)(Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1972).

Pattern Jury Instructions. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1972).

Voluntary Merit Selection Plans. (Chicago: American Judicature Society, 1972)(with Robert Stanley Lowe).


Contrasting Lawyer Ethics and Mediator Ethics: Critical Issues, in Mediation Ethics: A Practitioner’s Guide (Chicago, IL.: American Bar Association, 2021).

Supplement to Shaman, Lubet & Alfini, Judicial Conduct and Ethics. 3d ed. (Charlottesville, VA: Lexis Law, 2004) (with Charles Geyh & Steven Lubet).

Mediator Ethics, in Dispute Resolution Ethics: A Comprehensive Guide (Phyllis Bernard & Bryant G. Garth, eds) (Washington: American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, 2002).

Foreword, in Directory of Law School Alternative Dispute Resolution Courses and Programs. 2d ed. (Washington: National Dispute Resolution Center; American Bar Association, 1997). (with Kimberlee K. Kovach)

Toward Understandable Jury Instructions, in In the Jury Box: Controversies in the Courtroom (Lawrence S. Wrightsman, et al, eds) (Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1987). (with Amiram Elwork & Bruce D. Sales).

Trial Courts and Practice, in Encyclopedia of the American Judicial System: Studies of the Principal Institutions and Processes of Law (1987).

Judicial Evaluation Polls, in The Improvement of the Administration of Justice: the Judicial Administration Division Handbook, American Bar Association (6th ed., Fannie J. Klein) (Chicago: American Bar Association, 1981).

Mississippi Judicial Selection: Election, Appointment, and Bar Anointment, in Courts and Judges (James Cramer ed.) (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1981).

Improving Comprehension for Jury Instructions, in Bruce D. Sales, The Criminal Justice System (New York: Plenum Press, 1977). (with Bruce D. Sales & Amiram Elwork)


Did You Hear What I Heard?, Alternative Dispute Resolution Course (Austin: State Bar of Texas, 2010). (with Kimberlee K. Kovach & William H. Lemons) (Tab 3)

Introduction and Panel Discussion: Transcription of Proceedings, Lawrence v. Texas Symposium, 46 S. Tex. L. Rev. 323 (2004).

Judicial Selection Reform, Dedication of the American Judicature Society headquarters, The Opperman Center at Drake University, Des Moines, Ia, October 2003. (Keynote speaker)

Justice in Mediation, 3rd Annual Association for Conflict Resolution Conference, Orlando, Fla, October 2003.

The Neutral Professional and the Legal Practitioner: a Recipe for Conflict Soup? 3rd Annual Association for Conflict Resolution Conference, Orlando, Fla, October 2003.

Current ADR Developments & Issues, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2001 (Springfield: Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2001). (Chap. 3)

Alternative Dispute Resolution: a General Perspective, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Florida (Tallahassee: Florida Bar, 1992).

Court-Administered Arbitration in Florida, Arbitration in Florida: an Overview (Tallahassee: Florida Bar, Continuing Legal Education, 1989). (with Linda Griffiths)

CV (PDF format)