London Conference on “Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution”

Emma Ewart of the International Mediation Institute writes:

Earlier this year we circulated the article ‘Time for Another Big Bang in Alternative Dispute Resolution’, by Michael Leathes and Deborah Masucci:, proposing a new conference to wake up the field of ADR. We appreciated your words of support in response to that article, and before the official invitation goes to the wider IMI community, we would like to let you know of the upcoming convention ‘Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution’, which is the first planned in a series of conferences.

The official invitation can be seen below. All information plus a registration link can be found at:

We hope that you might be able to join us at this ground-breaking interactive convention!

A host of cooperating organizations are joining this effort.  Unfortunately, the invitation did not include an offer to appear as a speaker, and worse yet was not accompanied by a round-trip ticket to London.  Nevertheless I urge those who can, to attend, and to let us know how it went.

Business Lawyers and ADR: Ethical Challenges

The third and final part of the morning-long Commercial Finance and Dispute Resolution Symposium at the recent ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting was a discussion, among audience and experts, of some hypotheticals implicating the obligations of attorneys who negotiate dispute resolution clauses and who represent clients in ADR procedures.

The experts were Stan Sklar of Chicago and Alex Wald of Boston’s Cohen and Gresser.  The audience included some of the sharpest minds in commercial negotiation and dispute resolution.  And the hypos brought out some clever analysis, even if not every one led to clarity.  The scenarios, and a capsule of the discussion of each, follow.

Read more »

Collaborative Law Approaches to M&A Disputes

John Levitske of Duff & Phelps, who serves as Vice-Chair of the ABA Business Law Section’s Dispute Resolution Committee, assembled a provocative panel in Chicago on the topic: “Whether Collaborative Law Can be Used to Effectively and Efficiently Resolve Post-Merger and Acquisition Disputes.”  He described it as an effort to articulate the intersection between a little-known technology and a felt business need.  Read more »

Project Finance and ADR: The Dispute Review Board

The second offering of the three-part Symposium on ADR and Commercial Finance at the ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting addressed disputes arising in long-term, high-budget, tightly-scheduled, deeply interdependent projects — like building an airport — where “divorce is not an option.”  According to Deborah Mastin, the issue is how clients manage unplanned adverse events that occur during projects, mitigate their impact and resolve the issues they present.

Was the unplanned event discussed with experienced people prior to the project’s beginning?  Was there an agreement on how unanticipated events will be handled with a minimum of time?  Delay in a construction project like an airport can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, so the response to problems that threaten delay in the work must be timely and the solution must be accepted by everyone.  Read more »

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