Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee is concerned with developments and optimum use of all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, mediation, summary jury trials, mini-trials, early neutral evaluation, as well as effective settlement and negotiation techniques. Alternative dispute resolution is considered both within the formal litigation process and pre-suit. The committee sponsors numerous programs to enhance the advocate's skills in all dispute resolution procedures because knowledge of ADR techniques is particularly essential for trial lawyers.
Registration for the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s “A Comprehensive Training in Commercial Arbitration” is now open. This year’s program will be held in Washington D.C. This two-day training will be presented by a panel of nationally recognized arbitrators and arbitration advocates and will cover recent developments and trends in arbitration.
The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) has announced the appointment of Noah J. Hanft as its new President and CEO, effective May 1, 2014. Mr. Hanft succeeds Kathleen A. Bryan, who announced her plans to retire last year. Ms. Bryan will continue to lead CPR through the transition. Mr. Hanft, who announced his retirement from MasterCard effective April 1, is currently General Counsel and Chief Franchise Officer for MasterCard. Read the full press release.
Two Former Arbitrators Appointed to the Judiciary
Ty Holt, President of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, announced that two of the College’s members have just been appointed to the judiciary. CCA Fellow Thomas S. Fraser has been appointed to serve as a State Court Judge in Minnesota's Fourth Judicial District, and CCA Fellow Louise LaMothe has been appointed to serve as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California (Santa Barbara).
Video Released of New CPR Administered Arbitration Rules
Lexis® CLE and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) have released a video presentation of the new CPR Administered Arbitration Rules that became effective on July 1, 2013. CPR is adding to its services, “full administration”, which includes billing, selection of the arbitrator or arbitrators, ensuring the smooth interface between parties and the Arbitrator/Tribunal, limited review of awards, and oversight to ensure the process occurs in a timely manner.
FINRA Announces Decrease in Case Filings
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that arbitration case filings from January through November 2013 reflect a 14 percent decrease compared to cases filed during the same 11-month period in 2012 (from 4,022 cases in 2012 to 3,442 cases in 2013). Customer-initiated claims decreased by 10 percent through November 2013, as compared to the same time period in 2012. Arbitration cases filed identified the following securities (listed in order of decreasing frequency): common stock, mutual funds, variable annuities, annuities, options, preferred stock, limited partnerships, corporate bonds, preferred stock, certificates of deposit, and auction rate securities. The top two causes of action alleged were breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.
AAA Launches New Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules
The American Arbitration Association has issued new Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules that became available on November 1, 2013. The new rules provide parties with a streamlined appellate arbitration procedure that allows for a high-level review of arbitral awards. The new rules are intended to provide for such appellate review in an expedited and cost-effective manner.
Revised AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules, Effective October 1, 2013
The American Arbitration Association has issued revised Commercial Arbitration Rules that became effective on October 1, 2013. The new rules are the product of a three-year effort involving input from users, advocates, neutrals, and board members. The revamped rules, which include a mediation step for cases above $75,000, reflect user preferences for a more streamlined, cost-effective, and tightly-managed arbitration process that avoids the high cost of litigation.
New FL Code Expands an Arbitrator's Authority
In April, Florida passed the Revised Florida Arbitration Code, effective for contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2013. For existing contracts the parties can stipulate to use the new act or not. Among other things, the new Code expands an arbitrator’s authority to assess and quantify attorney fees.
A New Tool in Drafting Arbitration and Mediation Agreements
The American Arbitration Association (AAA) announced that its website offers an online arbitration and mediation tool called ClauseBuilder, which is designed to assist individuals and organizations in drafting clear and effective arbitration and mediation agreements. The current version of ClauseBuilder deals with commercial arbitration contracts. Future versions in development will address construction, international, and employment contracts.
To get started, one need only visit the AAA site, and then follow the directions in the drop-down menu. You will then be offered templates that an individual or organization can adapt to its current situation. Options include the number of arbitrators desired, any particular qualifications the arbitrator must have, the location of the arbitration, any limitations on discovery, confidentiality terms, and the remedies that are available. After you have constructed your arbitration clause, you can download the clause as a text file, print it, or save it for future use. If users want to revisit the site and rework a clause that was previously created, they can open an AAA account to store their document.
According to the AAA, “ClauseBuilder will provide a quick and efficient, self-guided process for drafting ADR clauses that are customized to parties’ particular contracts and needs.” Time will tell if this new tool will make it easier for parties involved in drafting arbitration and mediation agreements.
You can contribute articles and case notes for our website and/or the next issue of our newsletter. Writing an article or case note is not time consuming, raises awareness of ADR issues and relevant cases for your colleagues, and helps market your practice to other practitioners.
We are your new committee cochairs. This message will bring you up to date on our activities.
First, we encourage you to join one of the many subcommittees we have. This is the best way to become more involved and more visible within the committee. All you need to do is send an email to Bruce Rubin to indicate which subcommittee or subcommittees you are willing to join. All of our subcommittees relate to arbitration and mediation. The specific subcommittees are:
1. Sound Advice—this committee arranges for podcasts of 5 to 10 minutes on topics of interest
2. Roundtable—this committee organizes, with help from the ABA, webinars that feature guest speakers on topics of interest. The programs typically last an hour
12. Settlement Counsel
Second, we always need articles and “news and development” pieces for our quarterly newsletter and website. Please propose a topic you may want to write about, or pick one from the starter list and reach Jean Baker, our Publications Subcommittee cochair, or call her at (202) 223-7093. She can let you know if the topic has been taken, and what the ABA publication requirements are.
We look forward to meeting you and working with you.
Bruce Rubin and Carlos Rodriguez Vidal
Cochairs, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
Our active subcommittees include:
- Book Task Force
- Settlement Counsel
Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:
Alternative Dispute Resolution Leadership
|Cochairs||Web Editors||Newsletter Editors|
Carlos Rodriguez Vidal
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Las Vegas, NV