Proposal to Require ADR Notice in Letters of Engagement

The Unified Court System of the State of New York is considering a modification to its Rules that would require attorneys to include in their letters of engagement reference to the ADR options and resources available at the courts’ web site.

The proposal (available here) is subject to public comment until September 8 at rulecomments@nycourts.gov.  The suggestion may be a unique one.

I know that Colorado has an ethical requirement that its attorneys advise clients of alternatives to litigation, and of course many states have court-annexed programs either encouraging or requiring mediation of litigated cases.  But I am unaware of a Court Rule requiring attorneys to give notice of the availability of ADR in the course of their being engaged.

Anyone else?

Arbitration Panel Held Insufficiently Biased

From Liz Kramer’s Arbitration Nation (via Paul Lurie) comes notice of a delightful ruling from the Texas Supreme Court vacating an arbitration award because the panel was insufficiently prejudiced. Read more »

Update on UNCITRAL Proceedings

Prof. Stacie Strong of the University of Missouri sends this notice:

As some of you may know, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has been holding its forty-seventh session in New York these last two weeks.  During the meeting, the U.S. Department of State presented a proposal (click here) suggesting that UNCITRAL Working Group II begin work on a convention on the enforcement of settlement agreements that arise out of conciliation/mediation and that involve international commercial disputes.  The Commission decided to have the Working Group consider the proposal at its spring 2015 session and report back to the forty-eighth session of the Commission regarding the feasibility of the project and what form any instrument should take.

The U.S. Department of State will be holding a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL) on July 31, 2014, to discuss this project.  Interested parties may attend in person or by conference call.  More details about the ACPIL meeting, including details on how to RSVP, can be found in the Federal Register notice (click here).

The State Department is keen to hear from various stakeholders, so I encourage you to join into the conversation.

Deborah Masucci, Chair of IMI, has also reported on these proceedings and encouraged the ADR community to monitor them or engage itself.

ADR in Bankruptcy: Expanding Opportunities

Andrew Olejnik of Jenner & Block and Olivier André of the CPR Institute have co-authored an article that appears in Bankruptcy Law Reporter on the growing use of ADR tools in bankruptcy.  Dating the trend from a 2009 conference convened by the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, the authors conclude that “many large, complex cases increasingly have turned to ADR tools as a means to resolve disputes.”  The full article appears here. Read more »

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