February 17, 2021

Section News

Leadership News

Calling All Possible Leaders for Bar Year Starting in August

The Section of Dispute Resolution is a vibrant community and forum for networking, professional development, and user insights. If you are not a leader now, consider stepping up to serve for a Section council or officer term that begins in August 2021. To learn more about the responsibilities and the nominations process, click this link to see an overview document: Become a Leader. Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2021.

Section Council’s Midyear Meeting Scheduled for February 20

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Council will meet virtually during the 2021 ABA Midyear meeting on February 20, 2021. Items on the council agenda will include an ABA House of Delegates Resolution, sponsored by the Section, that supports the use of arbitration in business-to-business disputes.

Looking Back: Some Highlights of 2020

Section of Dispute Resolution  Holds its First Virtual Holiday Party

On December 17, more than 80 Section members joined Section Chair Myra Selby for a holiday celebration featuring virtual wine tasting with a master sommelier, a laughter expert, and a jazz music performance. Attendees enjoyed prizes, costumes, and networking in break-out rooms.

Two Committees Organize Session on Constructive Community Conversations

Also in December, the Diversity and the Public Disputes and Consensus Building committees convened a program called “Constructive Community Conversations: Racism, Police Reform and the Role of Attorneys.” An all-star panel discussed how lawyers, law enforcement, labor, and dispute resolution practitioners could contribute to ongoing conversations about racism and police reform.

Section of Dispute Resolution Fellows Advance Several Section Initiatives

Section of Dispute Resolution committees have gotten a jolt of energy and enthusiasm thanks to the 28 fellows working on committee projects and initiatives. The fellowship program provides fellows with opportunities to gain experience with the Section and is aimed at grooming the next generation of leadership, while at the same time helping the fellows advance their careers and grow their personal network within the field of dispute resolution. Current fellows are working on projects that include committee membership surveys, literature reviews, newsletter articles, and social media support.

The fellowship program is initially a one-year commitment, with an option to continue for a second year of “advanced” fellowship. Fellows have their registration fees waived for all DR Section events and activities, including the Spring Conference. They also have preferential access to DR Section publications and receive mentorship from and access to the leaders of various Section committees. The first year of fellowship involves activities such as writing blogs and newsletters, organizing committee events, and research. During the optional second year, fellows will have the opportunity to select a project that is aligned to their specific area of interest in dispute resolution and present it in a manner that will highlight their individual contribution to the Section’s advancement. These projects can range from writing an article for a Section publication to organizing an event or new training program.

Looking ahead: hopes and plans for a brighter future

Section’s Spring Conference Goes Virtual Again in 2021

Join us in April 2021 as we gather the dispute resolution community – once again virtually. Participate in CLE programs, group discussions, social hours, chat boards, and networking opportunities from your computer or mobile device. Tune in live or watch recorded programs. The Virtual Spring Conference will connect you with colleagues, ADR resources, and the ADR community from the convenience of your home. As of this writing, the Section plans to hold an in-person conference in Los Angeles in April of 2022, and the 2023 Spring Conference is scheduled to take place in Atlanta.

2021 Arbitration Institute Provides Intensive Training Online

The Arbitration Institute is always a popular feature, connecting newer practitioners with experienced professionals, and this year it will continue that tradition virtually over six days in June. This training, like those of other years, will feature sessions on every stage of the arbitral process examined from the vantage point of neutrals, advocates, and in-house counsel. Each day of the institute will include a three-hour session presented by nationally recognized experts. Small group break-out discussions will allow participants to interact with the faculty and each other, and substantive sessions will address particular areas of arbitral practice, including online arbitration protocols, procedures, and best practices. Save the dates for the 2021 Arbitration Institute: June 14, June 16, June 18, June 21, June 23, and June 25. Registration will open soon.

Keeping Up in the Digital Age: New Program Focuses on the Pitch

The “What's Next: Dispute Resolution Technology Pitch Series” is a new program designed to help members learn about tools that support our increasingly digital practices. Each Shark Tank-like event lasts less than one hour long and features a technology company's overview of its offerings followed by an open discussion of your questions, anything from “why is it designed this way?” to “how would this work in my unique situation?” This series is another member benefit for exploring new technology options leading up to the 2021 Dispute Resolution Tech Expo, which will be held from July 12 through July 16, 2021. To join a pitch session or volunteer for the next Tech Expo, please join the Technology Committee community in ABA Connect on the Committees web page

Representation in Mediation Competition Will be All Virtual at Eight Schools

The ABA Law School Representation in Mediation Competition will be all virtual this year. Eight law schools from across the country have stepped up to host virtual regional competitions in late February or early May: Quinnipiac University School of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law, Cardozo School of Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Southwestern Law School.

The National Finals will be held on April 9 and April 10. Members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution are encouraged to volunteer as judges or mediators for the regional and national competitions. Visit the Representation in Competition page for additional information.  

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