ADR-Related Legislation

Larson Frisby, of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office, recently offered an update on the status of federal ADR legislation and other related measures.  Some of the most interesting proposals are briefly described below.

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Okefenokee Lessons

My admiration for Walt Kelly has recently developed into an obsession, and over the past few years I have been gobbling up each volume of The Complete Pogo as it has trundled off the presses.  Churchy, Mam’selle Hepzibah, Albert and Pup Dog not being that far from my mind, the hot days of summer have kicked in to prompt a lemonade reflection.

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Colin J. Wall

The death of Colin J. Wall on July 16, 2015, is a crushing blow to our profession and a personal loss to me.

Colin was not a lawyer.  He was trained as a quantity surveyor, which (as he explained it to me) meant that he was good a figuring out what a construction change order would cost.   Raised in Birmingham, he found himself posted in Hong Kong by an early employer and was consulted by Queen Mary’s Hospital, which was undergoing an extensive revision.  The Hospital was receiving bids for the construction work that far exceeded its expectations.  Colin noted that the building had an asbestos condition of unknown scope and expense, and he suggested that the Hospital assume the asbestos removal itself, at its own direct cost, and bid out the job on a post-removal basis.  It did so, and the project went forward without a stumble. Read more »

Ethics: Disclosure Meets Confidentiality

Unmarketed, unheralded, and therefore largely unknown are the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators, promulgated in 2005 by the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, the AAA and ACR. Even less well-known, one suspects, are the opinions of the Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance that issue periodically interpreting those Standards.  Two recent opinions (available at the same link as the Committee, above) announced on June 22 are worthy of note.

The first addresses the inquiry: “Must a mediator disclose to prospective parties that she has conducted a number of previous mediations for one of the parties (or its attorney)?  What needs to be disclosed?”  Read more »

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