Conflict Resolution

ABA Dispute Resolution Section Meets April 7-10

Every year I submit a program to the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, and every year when I get there I am flabbergasted by the breadth, depth, focus, energy and sheer numbers at the Annual Conference.  My first was 1998, in Boston, and by now the thing has plumb gone wild.  Under the inspirational leadership of Section Chair Homer La Rue, this year features some real dillies.

5 STARS “one helluva party”

There will be a Plenary on both Thursday and Friday morning, and I’m there for each.  Larry Susskind knocked me over when I first met him at a CPR meeting in Santa Fe in 1999, and the chance to work with him in 2007 on the Multiparty Negotiation video on the World Trade Center rebuilding project was unforgettable.  He will be offering the Annual Frank Sander lecture to discuss why traditional mediator approaches of finding trades and satisfying interests break down in deeply value-laden disputes such as abortion, the death penalty, or same-sex marriage.  If anyone can create a new paradigm to resolve heated value-based disputes, it’s Larry Susskind.

The next morning features a Keynote Address by my good friend and former boss, Tom Stipanowich.  He acted as Rapporteur at the “summit” convened by the College of Commercial Arbitrators last October on business-to-business arbitration.  With CCA President Curtis von Kann as moderator, Panelists Michelle Leetham, Phillip Armstrong, Larry Harris and Deborah Rothman will unveil and discuss the protocols arising from that event.

It’s unfortunate that the CCA Summit Plenary is scheduled at the same time as a talk by Stanford professor Frederic Luskin on “The Psychology of Forgiveness.”  The topic of forgiveness is central to my own spiritual and professional journey just now, and I need to either get a recording or clone myself.

Congratulations to Ben Picker on receiving the coveted “Lawyer as Problem Solver Award.” 

And what about these panels, just at a glance:

  • The Obama Administration and Collaborative Governance,” with Lisa Bingham and Richard Reuben;
  • Hiding Behind Unethical Conduct — Has Confideniality Trumped the Necessity for Truthfulness and Good Faith?” with Roger Deitz and Kimberlee Kovach;
  • Gazing Into the Crystal Ball: What Will Business Conflict Look Like in 25 Years” with Jay Folberg, Colin Rule, Michelle Leatham, Janet Kloenhamer and (blush) me;
  • Taming the E-Discovery Beast: How to Cost Effectively Deal with E-Discovery in Employment ADR Cases” with John English and Patricia McQuater;
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Native American Approach” with Matthew Martin and Robert Saunooke;
  • When Faith and Rights Collide: Resolving Conflicts Involving Faith-Based Institutions” with Mark Chopko and Peter Robinson.

It’s going to be a blow-out and I hope to see you there!

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