We are delighted to invite you to Seattle for the Section’s 17th Annual Spring Conference this April 16-18, 2015. We look forward to seeing old friends and colleagues, and making new connections as we gather as a community to learn and explore ideas. The Section is very grateful for the incredible support of the Pacific Northwest dispute resolution community and, in particular, to the enthusiastic organizers of the NW ADR Conference, who have agreed to work with us to create another “mega spring conference.” Their collaboration and partnership has helped us to create a bigger, better and more diverse conference.
The Conference Planning Committee have thoroughly enjoyed the daunting process of selecting diverse and relevant topics to create an action-paced event that will hopefully educate, challenge and inspire all of our attendees. Whether you are an established international arbitrator seeking to advance your knowledge in conducting a more efficient process for disputants, new to the field of ADR seeking to bring conflict resolution processes in a community setting, or a part-time mediator curious how the latest neuroscience research can advance your understanding of decision making, this spring conference has opportunities for you.
We have two very different plenary speakers this year – Richard W. Pound, the founding chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, who will offer an unique insight into sports doping disputes and the role of ADR in these sometimes high-profile cases, and Professor John Medina, the New York Times bestselling author of “Brain Rules,” who will give an entertaining and thought provoking summary of his research on stress, its impact on decision-making and its relevance to those of us interested in helping parties in distress resolve their disputes. Our guest speakers will surely give the attendees a reason to get up early each morning of our conference – if the excellent coffee in this caffeine-obsessed city doesn’t do the trick!
As in every conference, we have sessions that will cover a dizzying array of topics that impact and interest our ADR community – mediation, arbitration, technology, ombuds, government and public policy, practice development. There are programs for a variety of practice areas including labor and employment, family, and commercial disputes. We are offering the ever-popular Dine-Around events for those of you who enjoy a chance to network and discuss specific topics with others in a smaller, more intimate setting, as well as numerous networking and social events throughout the conference. Please check out the online Conference Program for more details.
For the first time the Symposium on ADR in the Courts will be on Thursday, incorporated into the main conference sessions. This is a great opportunity for practitioners to attend one or more of the court sessions that are of interest. The Court Symposium programs have judges, lawyers, professors and mediators on their panels. The sessions will address ethics, research, program quality, and the relationship between judges and mediators and ADR and the courts.
The Legal Educators Colloquium has some terrific programming for professors, adjunct faculty, trainers and other experienced ADR practitioners and educators. Last year we had a very successful resource share for ADR educators on Friday evening, so we are continuing that tradition this year. On Saturday we have sessions on creating programs, teaching negotiation and arbitration, creating research out of anger and two shoptalk opportunities. Our morning shoptalk is about integrating international students into ADR clinics and courses and the afternoon shoptalk will have Oregon Dean Michael Moffitt leading a discussion on the realities and politics of integrating ADR into the curriculum. As usual these symposiums have separate ticketed luncheons where practitioners, judges and professors will gather to network and discuss the sessions.
Finally, we hope those traveling to the conference will find some time to explore the vibrant city of Seattle with your family, friends and colleagues – whether it a combined visit to world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly’s newly opened museum located next to the iconic Space Needle, a culinary walking tour through the vibrant Pike Place Market or the historic Pioneer Square, or a few hours enjoying a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers at the beautiful Safeco Field. There are lots of ways to make memories on your trip to the Pacific Northwest.
Between the conference programs, the networking and social opportunities, the sights and sounds of the city (and the countless gourmet coffee houses), we predict your time in Seattle might indeed be sleepless! Please join us and be part of the ABA SDR Annual Conference, “Solutions in Seattle 2015”.
We would like to thank our inspiring and hard-working conference committee. They have done an excellent job this year. We look forward to seeing you in Seattle.
Serena Lee and Kelly Browe Olson
Co-Chairs, 2015 Spring Conference Committee