After 30+ years of service to AFCC, Executive Director Peter Salem will be stepping down next June 2024. AFCC’s search is officially launching. The search is being lead by Viewcrest Advisors and they would like to connect with anyone you believe would be a potential candidate or network “source.” Kathleen Yazbak is reachable at: [email protected] AFCC’s announcement:The incoming ED will have the opportunity to: build on a talented team’s outstanding work; step into an organization in a strong financial position (with an annual operating budget of over $2 million and assets of $5 million); and drive programmatic impact and growth
Continue Reading AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) is looking for a new Executive Director!

Donna Shestowsky, chair of the Association of American Law Schools ADR Section, received the following announcement from the AALS.
Congratulations! Based on your outstanding submission, the AALS Committee on Sections has selected the Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution as the winner of the 7th annual Section of the Year.
The section will be formally recognized at the AALS Awards Ceremony on Thursday, January 4, 2024, 1:15 – 2:30 PM and during the Section Leadership Information Session and Continental Breakfast on Saturday, January 6, 2024, 7:00 – 8:00 AM.
Continue Reading AALS ADR Section Is Named “Section of the Year”

Randall Kiser just published another great book relevant to our community, Professional Judgment for Lawyers.
Randy is the principal analyst at DecisionSet®, which consults with lawyers and law firms to improve their effectiveness.  This earlier post describes his background and his book, Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer.  That book presents research showing that legal clients especially value these skills in lawyers.
Here’s the publisher’s description of his latest book:
Written by the leading authority on legal decision making, Professional Judgment for Lawyers integrates empirical legal research, cognitive and social psychology, organizational behavior, legal ethics, and neuroscience to illuminate
Continue Reading Randy Kiser’s New Book on Professional Judgment for Lawyers

As we all know and appreciate, the war in the Middle East is affecting our students deeply, yet unevenly. The Divided Community Project has worked with students at Moritz to create a simple, relatable checklist that encourages students to extend support to other students. Please utilize this checklist, share it throughout your university, or to work with your dispute resolution students so that they contribute a derivative or new checklist and brand it with your university. The checklist is here:
Continue Reading DCP at Moritz Offers Further Guidance for Universities during a Time of Conflict

Arizona State’s Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center is proud to announce the sixth annual Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Conference on Thursday January 11, 2024.  Our keynote speaker, Kevin Kim, is the Founder and Managing Partner at Peter & Kim (Seoul, Republic of Korea) and one of the world’s leading dispute resolution professionals.  In addition to his remarks we have a number of fantastic panelists who will discuss the following topics: Arbitration 2050 – Facing the Future, Crisis Negotiation, Entertainment Disputes, Supply Chain Disputes. To find out more about the conference and our speakers go here, and go here to
Continue Reading Save the Date – January 11, 2024, Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Conference

The word of the month for November is “moreish.”
I first heard the word “moreish” last month, when watching the latest season of the Great British Baking Show (or Bake-Off, if you’re in the UK). A contestant had prepared a rhubarb custard cake, and after taking a bite, judge Paul Hollywood said:
With creme pat and the rhubarb, the slice is quite moreish.
I had no idea what this meant, and I was not alone. It turns out that moreish is an adjective applying to food and means “having a pleasant taste and making you want to eat more.”
Continue Reading November: Moreish

Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman, issued an order in a case pitting the state of Illinois against Monsanto and other chemical manufacturers for discharging PCBs. Illinois sought to compel disclosure of certain documents the defendants produced in conjunction with ADR proceedings that arose during nine other lawsuits spanning back to 1984.

The cases raises questions of arbitration confidentiality, mediation confidentiality, international choice of law, domestic choice of law, courts’ protective orders, mediator privilege, attorney-client privilege, and a fair amount of plain old fashioned discovery disputes about scope, relevance, burdens, etc.

[Spoiler alert: each party had reason to
Continue Reading If you teach ADR and CivPro, your exam writing dreams have been answered! (and you need better dreams)

At this year’s excellent AALS ADR Section Works-in-Progress conference, I invited people to share their perspectives about how we can take advantage of the NextGen bar exam to stimulate changes in legal education.
This short article suggests how reformers can do this, and it includes colleagues’ ideas from the conference.
Starting in July 2026, the bar exam will include questions about client relationships and management, client counseling, negotiation, and dispute resolution.  For simplicity, the article refers to these topics as interviewing, counseling, and negotiation – ICN.
The NextGen bar should stimulate law schools to modify their curricula to maximize their
Continue Reading Taking Advantage of the NextGen Bar to Stimulate Changes in Legal Education

Until recently, the University of Oregon Law School graciously hosted the website of the Legal Education, ADR, and Practical Problem-Solving (LEAPS) Project.
This short article describes the history of the project and presents the materials it developed.
The project promoted “practical problem-solving” (PPS), which was defined as including interpersonal skills, general lawyering skills, dispute resolution and prevention, and professionalism.  It developed materials describing various teaching methodologies, suggestions for incorporating PPS in courses, a survey of how schools integrate PPS skills in their curricula, lists of consultants who can help on specific courses, examples of course exercises, approaches to introducing PPS
Continue Reading The LEAPS Project

There’s not a lot of good news coming out of the Middle East these days, so I thought I’d share something from the Christian Science Monitor that was printed shortly before Hamas’ October 7th attacks.  In an editorial titled Big Thanks for a Mideast Mediator, the CSM’s editorial board praises the country of Oman for its work in prisoner swaps between the US and Iran, helping Egypt and Saudi Arabia renew ties with Iran, and for facilitating talks that may resolve the Yemen War.  The article quotes Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi as follows:
Our neutrality is not passive.
Continue Reading Oman, an emerging international mediator

When Someone You Love Is Upset, Ask This One Question, writes New York Times “wellness columnist” Jancee Dunn.
It’s a helpful question for almost anyone – including colleagues, students, and clients – even if you don’t love them.  This question can give people a sense of control, which they may really appreciate, especially when they are feeling at loose ends.
Of course, it may not be appropriate to offer to hug people in some contexts, but it’s generally helpful to ask if people if they want to be helped or heard.  They may want both, but the sequence may
Continue Reading Do You Want to Be Helped, Heard or Hugged?

In the course of completing my contribution to Rick Bales and Jill Gross’s forthcoming edited volume, The Federal Arbitration Act: Successes, Failures, and a Roadmap for Reform, I conducted research on new arbitration law developments as of 2023.  Here is what I found, which I hope will be of interest:

New Legislation

Seven countries  introduced new arbitration laws or amendments to existing arbitration laws:
Albania enacted an entirely new law governing domestic and international arbitration that is based on the 1985 version of the Model Law.  This new enactment fills a significant gap left after the Code of Civil Procedure
Continue Reading Arbitration Roundup 2023: Passed and Pending Around the World

From Donna Shestowsky:
On behalf of the AALS Section on ADR, I hope you will join us in DC for the AALS Annual Meeting.  Registration is open.
Here is some information about our section’s program, which will also serve as our section meeting:
In the spirit of the AALS’s recognition of the need for “Defending Democracy,” the Section on ADR has secured the top voices on difficult conversations to discuss the need for constructive dialogue in politics, workplaces, and families.  Harvard Law Professors Sheila Heen, world-renowned for co-authoring Difficult Conversations, and Rachel Viscomi will offer insights into why
Continue Reading AALS Program on Difficult Conversations in Polarized Times

I am pleased to share information about the upcoming Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution Symposium entitled The Future of the Criminal Legal System: How Should a Multidoor Criminal Courthouse Operate? on October 27, 2023 from 8:30am – 4:00pm EST.  The Symposium will take place in person and on Zoom.  Here is the registration link:

Additional information is below:

Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution

Melnick Symposium

The Future of the Criminal Legal System: How Should a Multidoor Criminal Courthouse Operate?

Friday, October 27, 2023 from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm EST

Keynote Speaker

Courtney Bryan, Executive Director, Center for Justice Innovation

Continue Reading The Multi-Door Criminal Courthouse