Arbitration|Conflict Resolution|International|Mediation

Three Upcoming ADR Conferences

The next few weeks are more than usually packed with high-quality convenings.  The World Mediation Forum will meet in Houston on March 21-22; the ABA Dispute Resolution Section will meet in Miami April 2-5; and the Business Law Section of the ABA (and its Dispute Resolution Committee) will hold its Spring Meeting in Los Angeles April 10-12.

The UIA World Mediation Forum is a unique body and I try never to miss their meetings, held every nine months.  After events recently held in Lisbon, Athens, Prague and Zagreb, it is a welcome change that they are meeting in Houston, Texas, hosted by mediator and raconteur extraordinaire Jeff Abrams.  Co-Presidents Thierry Garby (France) and Colin Wall (Hong Kong) have  lined up a pretty impressive group of speakers, including Aleš Zalar from Ljubljana, Patrick van Leynseele from Brussels, Judge Robert Schaffer from Harris County Texas, Clyde Lea from Conono Phillips, Irena Vanenkova from IMI, and Claude Amar from Paris.  I am eager to learn perspectives from outside the United States legal system and traditions, and the World Mediation Forum is one of my favorite sources.  Plus I talked my old friend Bill Hall into speaking on a panel about his experiences mediating as a franchisee of Dairy Queen (“We call Dairy Queens Texas stop signs!”).

Try to describe the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Spring Meeting and you quickly run out of superlatives.  The only drawback of that event is that you miss too much.  Registration is still open at  New Mexico former Governor Bill Richardson — our most effective emissary to North Korea since Dennis Rodman — will give a plenary address and pretty much everybody in the ADR world will be there.  I will be presenting the community/human rights films that won the 2012 CEDR Award, along with New Jersey mediator Laura Kaster and University of Arkansas Professor Uche Ewelukwa.  I also have a ticket to the Marlins game Friday night!

The very next week the big guns of business law assemble in Los Angeles for the big event of the Business Law Section’s year.  The Dispute Resolution Committee will feature two offerings:  AAA General Counsel Eric Tuchmann explaining the revisions to the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules, and a group of deal lawyers explaining why transactional attorneys are so well suited to problem-solving in disputes.  They include Joan Sterns Johnsen, Jim Freund Richard Hall and Richard Lutringer.  With that kind of fire power, we hope many of the folks in the Section who don’t think of their practice as including ADR might pop in and think again.  (And, yup, I have Dodgers tickets for the Tigers game that Wednesday.)



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