Alternative Dispute Resolution


Learn while you’re on the go. Access the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee's recordings on this archive page.

Sound Advice

How to Become a Neutral Part II
By Brain Farkas and Theo Chang – July 21, 2020
In this series on "How to Become a Neutral," the ABA Section of Litigation's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will interview leading mediators and arbitrators about their career paths and offer guidance to those considering roles as neutrals. In this episode, Brian Farkas (Arent Fox LLP) talks with Theo Chang (ADR Office of Theo Cheng). (22:58 min)

How to Become a Neutral: A Conversation with Edna Sussman
By Edna Sussman and Brain Farkas – July 3, 2020
In this series on "How to Become a Neutral," the ABA Section of Litigation's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will interview leading mediators and arbitrators about their career paths and offer guidance to those considering roles as neutrals. In this episode, Brian Farkas (Arent Fox LLP) talks with Edna Sussman (Susman ADR, LLC). (21:17 min)

Understanding the Role of Settlement Counsel
By Eric English, Frank Bedell, and Pat O'Malley – February 14, 2020
In this Sound Advice, Eric English, Frank Bedell, and Pat O'Malley, settlement counsel will discuss the role of settlement counsel, how it works, and explore some of the mis-perceptions about settlement counsel. (11:30 min)

Selecting the Right Commercial Arbitrator
By Neal Eiseman – December 31, 2019
The notion that you can select the person who will decide your client's fate in arbitration is powerful and not to be taken lightly. In this Sound Advice, Neal Eiseman gives tips on what to consider and how best to make that selection. (5:39 min)

The Importance of Timing in Mediations
By Rick Mahrle – December 13, 2019
In this Sound Advice, Rick Mahrle discusses using the right timing to schedule a mediation, and then getting the timing right during the mediation. (11:51 min)

Preparing For Your First Arbitration Pre-Hearing
By Joan Stearns Johnsen
Arbitration advocacy is the same as litigation advocacy and completely different. The Pre-Hearing Conference is the first opportunity to interact with your panel. Here are some tips so that even if it is your first arbitration pre-hearing conference, the panel will not know it. (3:24 min)

Should You Take Discovery Before Mediating?
By Joan Stearns Johnsen
How much is enough? The earlier you mediate the greater the savings for your client. How can you take just enough so your settlement is rational and your client is happy. (2:35 min)

Becoming a Dispute Resolution Counselor for Your Client's Business Agreements
By Conna Weiner
This Sound Advice will provide valuable tips for how to use ADR skills to resolve disputes in business agreements.

Introducing the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge
By Harout J. Samra and Noiana Marigo
The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge is an unprecedented movement directed at improving diversity among arbitrator appointments that has taken the arbitration world by fire. In addition to the ABA's Sections of Litigation and Dispute Resolution, hundreds of organizations around the world have signed. This Sound Advice podcast will explore what the Pledge is, how it came into being, and how you can be a part of it. (09:21 min)

Integral Part Exception and Compelling Arbitration
By Stuart M. Boyarsky
Boyarsky talks on the integral part exception to section 5 of the FAA, including a discussion of the December 2015 cert petition in Golden Living Center v. Wert. (9:22 min)

Expected Impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Harout Samra
Listen as Harout Samra discusses the recent and surprising developments with regard to the T.T.P. and the sweeping changes in how investors state disputes are going to be resolved. (7:34 min)

Opportunities Through Paradoxes
By Bernie Mayer
Too often people view conflict as an either-or proposition. Professor and author Bernie Mayer describes seven key polarities that can all lead to conflict resolution—not simply a "winner" and a "loser." (11:24 min)

Jury Verdict Surveys
Longtime litigator and expert witness Bruce Rubin shares why using survey results of comparable settlement cases is not always the best way to determine the numbers.

Arbitration and Mediation in Securities and Commodities Cases
As fewer cases go to trial, more lawyers are developing their skills of ADR.  Louis Burke explains how securities and commodition

Unilateral Arbitration Provisions
Though arbitration agreements are now fairly common, unilateral arbitration provisions are not.  Listen to Neal Eiseman explain the difference and how, if possible, to obtain an unilateral arbitration agreement for your clients.

Arbitration Panels: Choose Wisely!
Bound to arbitrate?  Before you begin, listen to Rob Remington, 22 year veteran of numerous arbitrations and mediations, and a partner at the Cleveland firm of Hahn Loeser and Parks, LLP, review the risks and benefits of sole vs. panel arbitrations, the value of expanded arbitrator discovery, and the strict rules for arbitration appeals.

Lawyering with Planned Early Negotiations
Hear law professor and author John Lande outline the advantages of working closely with opposing counsel––before and during a trial.  Despite attorney fears of appearing weak this type of strategy often serves both the attorneys and their clients. (11:28 min) 

Settlement Counsel—It Just Makes Sense
Hear Eric English and Paul Genender as they describe the use of settlement counsel during trials.  Although they are not always needed, hiring settlement counsel can make life easier for the trial counsel and may help your client achieve their desired outcome. (11:28 min)

Timing Discovery and Motion Practice to Make Mediation Work
It is said that timing is everything. Matthew Bakota outlines how that is especially true as you prepare a mediation.

Improve the Outcome of Your Next Arbitration
Increase the likelihood of a positive outcome to your next arbitration by listening to former Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation, Louise LaMothe, a practicing arbitrator and mediator in Santa Barbara, California, as she highlights key differences between litigation and arbitration.

Challenges of Entering the Field of International Arbitrations
Hear Harout Samra of DLA Piper as he shares how life changes when moving from working on litigation to international arbitration. Is it better or worse? Hear some of the differences, and decide for yourself. (8:45 min)

Keeping Your Cool with Difficult Adversaries
Facing a difficult and unprofessional adversary?  Don’t lose your cool!  Listen as Paulette Brown, partner at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP in Madison, New Jersey, and seasoned employment and labor law attorney gives practical advice for how to remain in control and professional when those around you are not!

United States Supreme Court 2010 Round-up: 5 New Cases Concerning Federal Practice
Hear New York attorney Greg Joseph, an expert in Federal Practice, analyze five decisions issued in 2010 by the United States Supreme Court concerning Federal Practice, including issues regarding:  arbitration clauses:  Rent-a-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson and Stolt-Nielsen, S.A. v.  Animal Feeds Int’l Corp.; statutes of limitations:Merck & Co. v. Reynolds; Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15c(1)C)(ii)’s relation back doctrine:  Krupski v. Costa Croiere, S.p.A.; and  the determination of corporate citizenship for purposes of establishing federal diversity jurisdiction: Hertz Corp. v. Friend.

Mediation Opening Statements: Strategies for Success
As more and more cases go to mediation, your client’s success depends on your ability to perform in a setting that is distinctly different from the courtroom.  Listen to Lorna Schofield, Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation, who has both served as a Mediator in the Southern District of New York, and who has represented clients in mediation, as she advises on whether and how to give an opening statement in the mediation of a matter.  Chair Schofield addresses the differences between opening statements at trial and in mediation settings, emphasizing how to make the most of the mediation opportunity. 

Powerful Speech
JoAnne A. Epps
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia, PA

Secrets of Opening Statements
Paul Mark Sandler
Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler
Baltimore, MD

Psychology for Lawyers
Authors Jean Sternlight and Jennifer Robbennolt explain how, through various psychology techniques, you can become a more successful attorney and negotiator.


The information on “Sound Advice” is for discussion purposes only and does not reflect the opinions of the ABA. The information is not legal advice nor a substitute for legal counsel.


The CASE Act: What You Need to Know About the New Copyright Small Claims Board
The Copyright Alternative Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) creates a new tribunal: the Copyright Claims Board. The Board will be housed inside the Copyright Office with three appointed officers presiding over copyright disputes, and should start hearing claims by December 27, 2021. This new process may help resolve relatively small copyright disputes in an efficient manner. However, as of now the exact workings of the Board and its usefulness are open questions. This presentation will answer some questions and raise more about: how the Board will operate; what authority the Board has to award damages and other relief; and whether the Board is even constitutionally permissible. (1:25:06 hr)

Mediation: In the Land of Zoom
Virtual Mediation: What are the overall trends and conditions. Also, what remains the same and how has video conferencing with the lack of physical presence changed the process. (1:00:44 hr)

A Practitioner's Guide to Running a Zoom Arbitration
Social distancing is the new reality, and that means more arbitration hearings are going virtual. Sure, we all know how to host a casual Zoom conference with a client, colleagues, or friends, but how do you run an entire hearing—with multiple parties, witnesses, and exhibits—remotely? Our panel of experts will walk you through a demonstration (using Zoom, of course) and give you practical tips for running a Zoom hearing smoothly and efficiently, including how to: control participants; manage breakout rooms; handle witness; manage exhibits and demonstratives, including witness annotations and creating new exhibits on the fly; use of multiple screens; security; and other helpful tips. (55:22 min)

New Techniques in AI that Save Your Clients Time and Money
Keyword search, the most widely used method of e-discovery, has built in flaws and weaknesses. It’s cumbersome, imprecise, expensive—and limited. New, more robust machine learning allows parties to power through document collection with incredible speed, efficiency, and validity saving your clients time and money. This program will introduce you to the newest technologies as well as how to employ these technologies early and effectively. (58:34 min)

How to Teach Your Arbitrator
By Harold Coleman Jr and Joan Stearns Johnsen
How should you present your case to your arbitrator or arbitration panel? Will you reach them best by using demonstrative exhibits or with a riveting opening or closing? Should you use a different approach? The latest research has identified differences in our brains, which influence how we process information and learn. We explore this research and provide practical tips to account for the way different people absorb and process information cognitively. (1:00:13 min.)

How to Work with an Expert in Mediation: Practice Tips from the Mediator, Expert, and Lawyer
By Alternative Dispute Resolution and Securities Litigation Committees
We know that in complex commercial litigation choosing the correct expert is an essential step in putting your case together. What happens when you mediate the resolution of your case? Under what circumstances should you bring your expert to the mediation? This practical Roundtable will explore the various ways of using your expert in connection with mediating the settlement of your case. Join us for a lively discussion between seasoned litigators, an expert and a mediator on this important issue. (56:25 min)