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Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.) and the Philadelphia Eviction Diversion Program Featured in Urban Institute’s Report

Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.) and the Philadelphia Eviction Diversion Program Featured in Urban Institute’s Report

Judge Rizzo cited for her work developing and leading Philadelphia’s successful Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program and helping to design the new Eviction Diversion Program

Panelist News

Philadelphia – JAMS, the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services worldwide, is pleased to announce that Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.) has been featured in the Urban Institute’s Report, “Eviction Prevention and Diversion Programs: Early Lessons from the Pandemic.” This report, which was published in April, compiles and analyzes data on 47 state and local eviction prevention and diversion programs that have been created or adapted to prevent evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that provides unbiased, authoritative insights on the well-being of people and places in the United States, and it aims to shape public policy practice, strengthen communities and improve people’s lives across the country. In the report, Judge Rizzo and project partners Sue Wasserkrug of the Good Shepherd Mediation Program and Rachel Garland of Community Legal Services are interviewed regarding their insights about and contributions to the creation and implementation of the Philadelphia Eviction Diversion Program.

The report highlights this effort as one of four programs that have enjoyed early success and have the potential for use as a national template. This program, modeled after the Philadelphia Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program that Judge Rizzo developed in 2008, launched last summer to address the impact COVID-19 has had on housing for vulnerable citizens in Philadelphia. The program is fueled by volunteer neutrals, including a team more than 20 JAMS panelists from across the country assisting to achieve prompt resolution of these matters. It enables landlords and tenants to arrive at housing agreements that work for both parties without having to go to court. Thanks to the work of the team, and the support of a coalition of city agencies, elected officials, housing counselors and legal professionals, the program has been offering relief citywide.

Through her work in Philadelphia, Judge Rizzo has demonstrated time and time again that she has a unique ability to bring together different groups of people and proactively find ways to peacefully resolve disputes in the community. We are pleased to see her insights included in this impactful report and are proud of the work she and our team of JAMS team neutrals, who are volunteering their time and mediation skills, are doing to support Philadelphia communities and help landlords and tenants find sustainable solutions.

- Chris Poole, JAMS CEO

Judge Rizzo is quoted throughout the Urban Institute’s report, leveraging her experience to offer strategic considerations and highlight the importance of connecting with key stakeholders to create a successful and sustainable program.

At JAMS, Judge Rizzo serves as a neutral in mediations and arbitrations in a variety of complex civil matters, including mass torts, personal injury, products liability, civil rights and employment. Earlier in her career, she served for 16 years in the First Judicial District, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

About JAMS – Local Solutions. Global Reach.

Founded in 1979, JAMS is the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution services worldwide. JAMS successfully resolves and manages business and legal disputes by providing efficient, cost-effective and impartial ways to overcome barriers at any stage of conflict. JAMS offers customized dispute resolution services locally and globally through a combination of industry-specific experience, first-class client service, top-notch facilities and highly trained panelists.

With a roster of over 400 neutrals and 29 locations, JAMS resolves thousands of the world’s important cases every year. JAMS also offers remote dispute resolution through videoconferencing and other platforms. JAMS neutrals are adept at managing the resolution process whether they are conducting in-person or virtual hearings.

More information is available at, and you can connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and our JAMS ADR blog.

Featured People

Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.)
  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property

Media Contact

For further information, please contact:

Kristine Snyder

JAMS Director, Public Relations & Content 

+1 949-224-4614 (Direct Dial)

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