April 19, 2017

Implicit bias, technology solutions highlight ABA alternative dispute resolution meeting

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2017 — The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution will convene its 19th Annual Spring Conference from April 19-22 in San Francisco with more than 100 different programs covering a host of topics, including the importance of recognizing implicit bias and how technology is shaping the alternative dispute resolution field.

What:               19th Annual Spring Conference
                         Sponsored by ABA Section of Dispute Resolution

When:              April 19 - 22

Where:             Hyatt Regency
                         5 Embarcadero Center

San Francisco, Calif. 94111


The conference will cover a range of programming related to mediation, arbitration, negotiation and specialty practice areas. Highlights include:

·        Eva Jefferson Paterson, co-founder and president of the Equal Justice Society, will discuss the importance of recognizing, understanding and addressing individual implicit bias, particularly as it applies to issues of race. The Thursday 8:30 a.m. plenary program is one of several sessions devoted to implicit bias.

·        Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, will speak at the 8 a.m. plenary session Friday about a new model of power, one rooted in social intelligence, responsibility and cooperation.

·        How Technology Is Shaping the Future of ADR Practice” will provide insights from three different perspectives: neutrals, in-house counsel and law firm attorney and how technology is affecting their practices and their use of alternative dispute resolution. The program is at 4 p.m. Thursday.

·        “Alternative to Lawsuits: Resolving Legal Claims with Structured Negotiation.” This panel will be led by Lainey Feingold, who has a 20-year track record of win-win results with her “Structured Negotiation” approach to dispute resolution. She recently authored the ABA book, “Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.” The program is 4 p.m. Thursday.

At Friday’s Awards Reception and Dinner, the Section of Dispute Resolution will present these awards:

  • D’Alemberte-Raven Award, the section’s highest honor that spotlights outstanding service in dispute resolution, to Ethan Katsh, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Katsh is widely recognized as the founder of the field of online dispute resolution and, along with Janet Rifkin, he conducted the eBay Pilot Project in 1999 that led to eBay’s current system that handles more than 60 million disputes each year. The award is named for the late Robert D. Raven of San Francisco and Talbot D’Alemberte of Tallahassee, Fla., former ABA presidents and pioneers in the area of dispute resolution.

  • John W. Cooley Lawyer as Problem Solver Award, which recognizes both individuals and organizations that use their problem-solving skills to forge creative solutions, to Lainey Feingold (individual recipient) and the JAMS Foundation (institutional recipient). Feingold is a U.S. disability rights lawyer, author and speaker who represents the blind community on technology, digital and information access issues. She is widely recognized for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements without lawsuits using a dispute resolution process she pioneered known as Structured Negotiation.

The JAMS Foundation was created to provide support to the New York Bar Association in offering pro bono mediation and related services for 9/11 victims and their families. Since 2001, the Foundation has made more than 200 grants to more than 100 nonprofit organizations, providing greater than $6 million to support ADR-related initiatives throughout the world. Its current funding priorities include community mediation, student and youth initiatives, police-community relations, and the Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship Program.

On Saturday, the 2017 Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work will be presented to law professor Andrea Kupfer Schneider, also the director of the nationally ranked ADR program at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee. Schneider focuses on increasing the reach of dispute resolution scholarship into international and interdisciplinary realms as well as translating theory into practice. Her primary emphasis has been on negotiation, a subject that she has approached from a wide range of perspectives, including gender, international relations, and pedagogy.

The Section of Dispute Resolution is the world’s largest association of dispute resolution professionals, with nearly 12,000 members. Its spring conference program can be found online.

There is no charge for media covering this event but registration is required. To register, please contact Bill Choyke at 202-662-1864 or bill.choyke@americanbar.org.

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