October 2018 - Early Dispute Resolution Committee

From the EDR Chair

Welcome to the October 2018 newsletter sponsored by the Early Dispute Resolution Committee.  Here is a preview of the engaging articles you will find below:

Companies today aspire to transact business, achieve efficiencies, and continuously improve at the speed of light. Why haven’t business leaders demanded the same from dispute lawyers, who remain content with timelines of 12 to 24 months and steadily increasing costs running easily into the hundreds of thousands?

John Lande addresses this issue in his article, “Promoting Early Dispute Resolution in Civil Cases.” He addresses why collaborative law in divorce disputes has become successful, but early dispute resolution models for non-family law civil disputes have languished.  His article argues that the success of collaborative law may not be as significant as generally thought, and that many dispute resolution lawyers actually are focused on early resolution, though not using a prescribed model. 

John Sarratt is bullish on the collaborative model.  In his article, “Expanding the Collaborative World to Civil Practitioners,” he explains the basics of collaborative law and how the organization in which he is the current President, the Global Collaborative Law Council, is focused on expanding the application of collaborative law’s 4-way agreement and protocols to non-family civil disputes. 

Peter Silverman’s article, 4-Step Early Dispute Resolution in 30 days or Less, is an introduction to a rigorous 4-step process to seek resolution in no longer than 30 days from the inception of a dispute. This article is a short summary of a much-longer comprehensive paper on the process and detailed set of protocols for the practice. For those interested in learning more, the article provides URL citations for the comprehensive paper and the practice protocols.

Finally, Lainey Feingold’s article, “What Can Structured Negotiation Offer the Business Attorney? A Lot!” originally published in Business Law Today and linked below, discusses dispute resolution model she’s developed, Structured Negotiation.

We hope you enjoy this issue and welcome any feedback. Please reach out if you’d like to get active on the Committee.

Thank you,

Peter Silverman
EDR Committee Chair

Featured Articles

Promoting Cooperative Early Dispute Resolution in Civil Cases
By John Lande

I was asked to discuss why more people don’t use early dispute resolution models in civil cases, considering that there are thousands of certified collaborative law practitioners, most of whom handle family cases. I suspect that there are fewer collaborative law cases than the number of certified practitioners would suggest – and that more lawyers are doing early dispute resolution cooperatively than we may realize. Read More

Expanding the Collaborative World to Civil Practitioners
By John Sarratt

Collaborative law began as a way for couples to go through divorce in a manner that might meet both of their interests as well as the needs of their children, preserving enough of a relationship with each other that they could continue to work together on their common problems going forward. Recently, civil collaborative law practice – that is, collaborative law applied to all types of civil disputes – has been gaining ground, motivated by the same concerns as in family law: to resolve disputes in a way that maintains important relationships; except that with civil collaborative law, the relationships to be preserved might be between employer and employee, between businesses, or in a disputed probate situation. Read More.

4-step Early Dispute Resolution in 30 Days or Less
By Peter Silverman

Companies today aspire to transact business, achieve efficiencies, and improve at the speed of light. Why haven’t companies demanded the same from litigators, who remain content with timelines of 12 to 24 months and costs running easily into the hundreds of thousands? I’m not sure why so far they haven’t done so, but I am sure they’ll soon be demanding it. Read More.

What Can Structured Negotiation Offer the Business Attorney? A Lot!
By Lainey Feingold

Lainey Feingold discusses the cooperative dispute resolution model she developed, Structured Negotiation, which she’s used successfully to resolve dozens of disputes with many of the largest companies in the world. She spells out each of the elements in the process, and then discusses how the process fits as well to business disputes as it does to ADA disputes. Read her article here.

Committee Mission

We’re a newly-formed committee, growing out of the Early Dispute Resolution Task Force. Our mission is to develop and promote effective procedures to resolve disputes early, economically, and fairly. We’re not wed to any one procedure, and accept that ultimately the market will decide whether to adopt any of the procedures. We intend to be a working committee as the field of early dispute resolution is in its infancy, perhaps like the concept of mediation was in the 1970s, and there’s a lot of work to do to develop and promote the field.

We have a written scope of work identifying numerous projects for individuals to take on. Communication in committees is now done though ABA Connect. You can read more about the committee’s work scope below or you can go to the Early Dispute Resolution Connect page (you do need to be logged in to the ABA web site). We’re also looking for a co-chair who can dedicate significant time to the effort.

As a new committee we have put together a written scope of work to identify numerous projects for interested members to take on.

Read more about the committee’s work scope.

Mediation Week

This is ABA Mediation Week. The theme for this year’s ABA Mediation Week is “Mediation, Civil Discourse, and ABA 2011 Resolution 108”.

Organizations and Institutions from around the world are holding events in recognition of ABA Mediation Week.

Visit the Mediation Week web site for a list of events in your area and a Mediation Event in a Box Toolkit to help get started with your organization’s Mediation Week event.

16th Annual Advanced Mediation & Advocacy Skills Institute

October 25-26
Chicago, IL

Join the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution in Chicago for a two-day interactive institute featuring rare opportunities to learn from some of the leading mediators and advocates in North America.

Each plenary session panel will feature an expert mediator, in-house counsel, and skilled outside attorney discussing each phase of the mediation process. Small group discussions led by experts in the field follow each of the plenary sessions.

The opportunity for mediators and advocates to interact in small facilitated groups provides a unique environment to enhance your skill, knowledge and understanding of the mediation process.

Earn CLE credit while building your practice and advancing your skills to improve mediation outcomes!


Representation in Mediation
 Law School Competition

Registration for the 20th annual Representation in Mediation Competition should open on November 1, 2018. Regional Competitions will take place at law schools across the country in late February and early March 2019.

The National Finals will be held on April 10-11, 2019, in conjunction with the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference in Minneapolis.

Save the Date!

The 2019 Annual Spring Conference will be held on April 10-13, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Whether you are new to dispute resolution practice or have been practicing for decades, the 2019 ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference has something for you.

Registration will open soon. If you are interested in sponsoring, exhibiting, or advertising at the spring conference, check out the opportunities here. 

Sponsorship Information

Dispute Resolution Magazine

The Fall issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine will be published by the end of October. Starting with this issue of the Magazine, all members receive a digital distribution of the Magazine. Lawyer and associate Members must opt-in to receive a print version of the magazine.

Call the ABA Service Center at 1-800-285-2221 to receive future issues in print.

The ABA Dispute Resolution Section Is Cosponsoring the 13th Annual Fordham International Arbitration and Mediation Conference

November 2 in New York City

Key Issues in International Commercial and Treaty Arbitration: 2018

Please join us and pass this on to others who may be interested. The full Fordham program and registration is available at Law.fordham.edu/ciam2018. We are a sponsoring organization and are eligible for registration at the reduced price of $75.

This year’s Fordham conference promises to offer practical guidance on a host of new developments in arbitration and mediation as well as the latest thinking on some timeless subjects. We will cover: How does the new EU data protection regime affect procedures in arbitration? What is the new Singapore Convention which is intended to promote mediation of international disputes and how will it impact arbitration and mediation? Can the new ICCA-ASIL Damages Web App improve the determination of damages in arbitration and how can we use it? How should the tribunal deal with illegality in the proceeding, including cyber breaches and corruption? What are the latest developments in the application of the public policy exception to the New York Convention? How do differences in culture and legal traditions affect the proceedings?

Ila Addanki using ODR Bowl to Negotiate an International Future

Ila Addanki, William & Mary Negotiation Team Member and ABA Section of Dispute Resolution College Coordinator Intern, entered law school knowing her future would be as international as her past. With family and friends living all over the world, she knows her legal practice won't be confined to those sitting around the same table. So she set out to hone her skills for remote negotiation while in law school, and is now a Founding Board Member for the ODR Bowl (www.odrbowl.org). Read more.

Weinstein JAMS Fellowship

The Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship constitutes the JAMS Foundation’s primary international initiative to support ADR practitioners worldwide in the promotion and advancement of conflict resolution in their home countries and beyond.

The program is intended specifically for individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to ADR and who wish to increase the availability of ADR education and services in their home countries. 

Fellowship applicants who have experience as lawyers, law professors, court administrators, government officers, ADR practitioners, or judges are given strong preference in the application process. Applications for the 2019 Weinstein JAMS Fellowship program are due Nov. 16, 2018.

For More Information

New ABA Web Site

Have you noticed the redesigned ABA web site? The ABA is raising the bar for digital member engagement and user experience.

Current ABA members, don’t forget to claim your new My ABA member profile on the new website. Don’t worry, your previous profile information hasn’t been lost, just moved to a new location. Visit My ABA to activate your new My ABA member profile and reset your password.

As can often be the case with a new site launch, we are experiencing a few performance issues as we are adjusting to the high volume of visitors. If you are experiencing issues logging in or making a purchase, call our Service Center at (800) 285-2221. Thank you for your patience as we make adjustments to our new website. 

Read more about the improvements to the ABA web site.

Ombuds Day at the ABA

The ABA offices in Washington, DC hosted an inaugural Ombuds Day event on October 11th.

The evening featured opening remarks from Charles Howard; small table discussions with different types of prominent ombuds from a variety of industries; and opportunities to learn about the role, function, and value of ombuds. View pictures from the event. 


Copyright 2018© by the American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

The materials contained herein represent the opinions of the authors and editors and should not be construed to be those of either the American Bar Association or Section of Dispute Resolution unless adopted pursuant to the bylaws of the Association. Nothing contained herein is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. These materials and any forms and agreements herein are intended for educational and informational purposes only.