General Accounting Office (GAO) releases its report Human Capital: The Role of Ombudsmen in Dispute Resolution May 15, 2001
On May 15, 2001, the General Accounting Office (GAO) released its report Human Capital: The Role of Ombudsmen in Dispute Resolution (GAO-01-466). The report is available as pdf file.
The report provides a perspective on the role ombudsmen play in resolving issues in the federal workplace. The report discusses standards and core principles for ombuds and presents illustrations of how an ombudsman office works in the everyday world and the results that can be achieved.
Hard copies can be obtained by phone 202-512-6000 202-512-6061 (fax) 202-512-2537 (TDD)
or by mail U.S. General Accounting Office P.O.Box 37050 Washington, D.C. 20013
Anthony P. Lofaro Senior Analyst, Human Capital Issues U.S. General Accounting Office 202.512.8383 fax 202.512.4516 email@example.com
ABA Task Force on E-Commerce and ADR Report Draft Released
May 21, 2001
The ABA Task Force on E-Commerce and ADR released a draft of its preliminary report and concept paper on May 21, 2001. The Task Force seeks comments on this draft prior to circulation at the ABA annual meeting in August 2001. The draft is available in Acrobat PDF and Microsoft PowerPoint or Word format at the above link.
Key recommendation of the report is the creation of a "trustmark" to certify that ODR providers meet certain standards.
New York — — A majority of Fortune 1000 companies are moving at least part of their supply chains online. However, only a minority of those firms have a plan in place to deal with the B2B disputes they expect to arise as they increase their e-business involvement, according to a new survey.
The survey of 100 senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies, conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), revealed that more than 70% of those surveyed have already moved part of their supply chain online. Additionally, almost 70% of respondents expect their B2B e-commerce supply chain to be completed within the next two years.
When asked about their company's B2B e-commerce initiatives, 95% of respondents said they expect their involvement to increase, with more than a third saying the increase will be significant.
"It is clear from the survey findings that, while the initial hype about e-commerce ventures may have fallen short, the reality is catching up with companies racing to prepare their supply chains," said William Slate II, president and CEO of the AAA, a 75-year-old nonprofit organization that offers arbitration and mediation, among other services. Slate also warned that, "As they join this growing marketplace, companies must learn to manage online relationships in order to uphold the continuity of business."
The survey showed, for example, that two-thirds of respondents are concerned about a B2B e-commerce dispute with a major supplier, and nearly half said that such a dispute would impact their business.
At the same time, 64% said their company does not yet have a plan in place to deal with such disputes. Further, while almost 70% agreed that additional guidelines are necessary for managing e-commerce disputes, approximately one in four said that either nothing is currently being done at their company to ensure that supply chains run without disputes, or that they are not yet familiar with any plans made.
"We were surprised to learn that many companies do not yet have a plan in place to resolve B2B e-commerce disputes," said Debi Miller-Moore, vice president of AAA's e-commerce services. "However, they are recognizing the potential pitfalls as they call for guidelines. It is clear that reducing B2B e-commerce disputes — and providing an electronic mechanism for resolving them if they do occur — is crucial to the success of the medium."
Miller-Moore said that the AAA is developing services to address these types of disputes.
OPM Searching For Outstanding ADR Programs May 2001
Office of Personnel Management acting director Steven R. Cohen recently announced the opening of competition for the third annual OPM Director's Award for Outstanding Alternative Dispute Resolution programs. The award was established in 1999 to recognize outstanding ADR programs that are focused on resolving internal employee workplace disputes, Cohen said.
There was plenty of competition in 2000 as organizations from across the country submitted 30 nominations for the award. The competition concluded last October with a public recognition ceremony for the award winners in Washington D.C.
OPM initiated the director's award to showcase successful agency ADR programs that are using a variety of innovative techniques to resolve Federal employee workplace disputes more efficiently and effectively than traditional grievance or complaint processes. The award was designed to recognize those federal organizations providing innovative and effective ADR programs; encourage the establishment and improvement of highly effective ADR programs throughout the government; and publicize exemplary ADR programs so they may serve as models for other federal agencies.
"Outstanding programs are able to demonstrate how a targeted investment of time and resources can return long-term benefits and savings to those organizations using them," Cohen said.
The 2001 director's award description and nomination form provide complete information on award program eligibility and selection criteria. Nominations are due by June 15, 2001. Anyone with questions can contact Gary Wahler at (202) 606-2920 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the award criteria and eligibility and selection criteria, visit the web site at www.opm.gov/er/diraward.htm
CPR President Thomas J. Stipanowich Receives British Institute’s Highest Honor May 4, 2001
New York, NY, May 4, 2001 - - The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution announced today that CPR President Thomas J. Stipanowich was invited to become a Companion of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mr. Stipanowich is only the fourth person to receive the Institute’s highest honor, and is the first honoree outside Great Britain. Previously named Companions of the Institute include Dame Mary Donaldson GBE, the Rt Hon Lord Halsham of St. Marylebone and the Rt Hon Lord Wilberforce CBE.
With approximately 10,000 members in 85 countries, the CIArb promotes and facilitates the determination of disputes by arbitration and alternative means of dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation, for business and commercial sectors involving: the law, construction, shipping, engineering, finance, insurance, commodities, medicine, health, IT, sport and the automotive industry. The Institute launched its mediation panel and commenced training mediators in December to complement a range of other educational and training services.
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, established in 1979, is a widely respected alliance of 500 general counsel of global corporations, partners of major law firms and renowned academics, formed to integrate ADR into the mainstream of law departments and law firms. CPR has earned international recognition as an authority on new and innovative uses of ADR for business and public disputes. CPR conducts research and development of new uses of ADR; educates law departments, law firms, government agencies and the judiciary; and facilitates dispute resolution use through the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals. CPR has actively promoted ADR with its CPR pledge committing approximately 4000 companies to seriously consider ADR in conflicts with other signatories. Additional information about CPR can be found on the Internet at www.cpradr.org.
Rosemarie Yu CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution email@example.com (212) 949-6490 x235 www.cpradr.org
Volunteer Mediators Receive Awards APRIL 20, 2001
The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) is pleased to announce the first annual Volunteer Mediator of the Year Awards! NAFCM supports the maintenance and growth of community-based mediation programs and processes; presents a compelling voice in appropriate policy-making, legislative, professional and other arenas; and encourages the development and sharing of resources for these efforts. NAFCM is the only national association dedicated to the advancement of community mediation programs. There are currently approximately 500 community mediation programs in the United States. More than 15,000 mediators volunteer with these programs.
The United Nations has declared the year 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers, and in recognition and celebration of volunteer mediators, NAFCM has initiated this award program. There are two categories of awards, youth (age 18 and under) and adult. The committee was faced with the difficult task of selecting only five award recipients from many excellent nominees. Each nominee displayed a strong commitment to community mediation and the peaceful resolution of conflict. One award is given for a youth mediator, and four awards are given to adults in different areas of the country. The NAFCM award recipients represent community mediation centers and volunteers all over the country. The awards will be presented at the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution, June 8, 2001. Winners will receive registration for the conference, accommodations, and travel to Fairfax, Virginia.
Morgan Stein, from Las Vegas, NV was chosen as NAFCM’s Youth Volunteer Mediator of the Year! She was nominated by the Clark County Social Service Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC). Morgan is a volunteer peer mediator at her high school. She worked with the NJC to organize a peer mediation conference for secondary school students in the Las Vegas area and presented a session on chartering peer mediation programs. Morgan’s passion is contagious and helps her to be influential in promoting the idea of peer mediation and nonviolent conflict resolution within her school. She has generated interest among young people to join the NJC upon graduation as volunteer mediators.
Florence Beier, San Mateo, CA was nominated by the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC). She has been a volunteer at this center for over 10 years. Although PCRC requires a minimum of 14 hours of service annually from its cadre of volunteers, Florence annual hours always exceeds 100 hours. When asked what distinguishes Florence, Jennifer Marshall, Mediation Programs Manager replied, “Her readiness to take on any task, whether the most mundane or the most complex and sometimes at the last minute, has made her a hero to our staff.”
Malcolm Carmichael, Montgomery, AL received a nomination from the Montgomery Community Dispute Resolution Program, a center he was instrumental in creating. The year 1993 marked the beginning of an avid interest in mediation for Malcolm. After attending two mediation trainings, Malcolm began the research, fundraising, and program development for what is currently the Montgomery Community Dispute Resolution Program. Today, he serves as a volunteer mediator, trainer, facilitator, and advisor.
Corinne Levitz, Chicago, IL was nominated by the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR). Cookie has been a volunteer mediator at the center for 20 years. In addition to her role as a mediator, Corrine also trains other volunteer mediators, serves on the CCR Board and CCR Peer Review Committee. Corrine is the mediator called for the “tough to handle” cases. She devotes countless hours, and an ever-present enthusiasm and respect for the process that is apparent to all.
William Powell, Geneseo, NY is the nominee from the Center for Dispute Settlement. Bill has been an active mediator at the Center for Dispute Settlement for over 18 years. He consistently goes far above and beyond the call of duty. When threatened with the loss of funding for a valuable program at his center, Bill immediately initiated a letter writing campaign thus mobilizing judges, lawyers, local officials and mediators to action, allowing the program to continue uninterrupted.
For further information, contact Joanne Hartman, Associate Director at (202) 667-9700 ext. 219; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.nafcm.org
Community Mediation Centers Receive Grants April 20, 2001
Community Mediation Centers Receive Grants
The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) is pleased to announce the third round of grant recipients in the NAFCM Minigrant program. NAFCM supports the maintenance and growth of community-based mediation programs and processes; presents a compelling voice in appropriate policy-making, legislative, professional and other arenas; and encourages the development and sharing of resources for these efforts. NAFCM is the only national association dedicated to the advancement of community mediation programs.
Funds were made possible by a generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. NAFCM will distribute $250,000 over 4 grant cycles. The first three grant cycles ended September 1, 2000, December 1, 2000, and March 1, 2001. The final application deadline is September 1, 2001. All community mediation programs with NAFCM membership are eligible to apply. Minigrants are awarded under five focus areas: 1) Program Development; 2) Professional Development and Organizational Effectiveness; 3) Quality Assurance; 4) Promotion of Diversity and Social Justice; and 5) Technology. In the first round, 19 centers received a total of $65,164. In the second round, $63,892 was awarded to 23 centers. In the third round, 65 centers applied, requesting a total of $271,803. Grants totaling $64,786 were awarded to 25 community mediation centers.
Montgomery County Dispute Resolution Program, Montgomery, AL was awarded a minigrant of $2,700. Under the program development focus area, the center received $1,700 to provide a peer mediation training. They also received $1,000 to purchase case management software and to support some costs of a web page.
Berkeley Dispute Resolution Service (BDRS), Berkeley, CA was awarded $4,000. The funds will support a three-day advanced facilitation workshop that will increase the center’s capacity to provide facilitation services for multi-party disputes. BDRS will recruit youth, police, and people of color to serve as facilitators for the multi-party work they do.
Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center, Los Angeles, CA was awarded a technology minigrant of $1,000. The grant will enable the center to create a website and provide mediators with access to e-mail.
San Diego Mediation Center, San Diego, CA received a minigrant of $2,000 under the program development and diversity and social justice focus areas. The center will expand its parent-teen mediation program to a local high school for homeless teens.
Dispute Settlement Center, Norwalk, CT received $3,500 for program development. The grant will support the center’s growing pre-arrest mediation pilot program, partnering with the Norwalk Police Department.
The Dispute Resolution Center for the Wabash Valley, Inc, Terre Haute, IN received a grant of $1,700. The grant will be used to expand the center’s pilot divorce mediation project.
Takoma Park Mediation Program, Takoma Park, MD was awarded $1,000. This grant will allow the center to purchase its first computer and thus improve the day-to-day operations of the center.
Community Dispute Settlement Center, Cambridge, MA was awarded $1,475 under the program development focus area. The grant will fund a training on gay/lesbian issues in mediation to enable mediators and the center to better serve the needs of the gay community.
Cape Cod Dispute Resolution Center, Orleans, MA received a grant of $2,000 under the professional development and organizational effectiveness focus area. The grant will enable one staff member and one volunteer to receive grant writing training and to create a grant application package for the center.
Oakland Mediation Center, Bloomfield Hills, MI received $2,400 to collaborate with the City of Novi to design a citywide dispute resolution program and awareness campaign. The project will construct a model to integrate mediation and dispute resolution within institutional structures.
– MORE – Community Mediation, page 2
Peaceful Solutions, Fergus Falls, MN received a $3,500 mini-grant award. This grant will allow the center to educate police and community members about restorative justice and community mediation and train law enforcement personnel and community members to be volunteer mediators.
Dispute Resolution Center, St. Paul, MN was awarded a technology minigrant of $1,000. The center will expand its web site and provide an e-mail communication system for volunteers. Staff will attend internet technology classes.
ACCORD, Binghamton, NY received $801 under the professional development and organizational effectiveness focus area. Funds will be used to provide certain staff members with computer training.
The Ulster Sullivan Mediation, Kingston, NY was awarded a technology minigrant of $1,000. The funds will be used to purchase a computer and thus improve the operations of the center, especially through mediation case tracking and database software.
The Mediation Center, Asheville, NC received $2,450 under the program development and diversity and social justice focus areas. The center will outreach to the low wealth community by providing training and on-site mediation services at the NAACP Empowerment Center.
The Conflict Resolution Center, Morganton, NC was awarded $4,400 to support their Peace Pipeline Initiative. The Peace Pipeline was created to expand the center’s community mediation services “through youth to youth.” The grant will support training and the salary for the Director of Youth Services.
Chatham County Dispute Settlement Center (CCDSC), Pittsboro, NC received $3,820 under the program development and diversity and social justice focus areas. CCDSC will train bilingual, bicultural volunteers to serve the increasing Latino Community.
Bay Area Mediation Service, North Bend, OR received $2,922 to increase awareness of the center’s services in the community. Outreach activities include mailings, meetings with law enforcement agencies, Public Service Announcements, presentations to schools and other agencies, and displays at fairs and other events.
Pittsburgh Mediation Center, Pittsburgh, PA was awarded $2,500 to expand its Mediation Partners Project in collaboration with a local law school and the District Attorney’s Office. The project will integrate mediation services into traditional court processes at the district justice level.
The Rose Center, Scranton, PA was awarded a NAFCM minigrant of $5,000. “Talk It Out, Don’t Duke It Out” provides mediation training and services to youth in the Boys and Girls Club after-school program.
Mediation and Reconciliation/Restitution Services (MARRS), Memphis, TN received a technology grant of $897. The funds will enable the center to obtain internet and e-mail services.
Just Solutions, Brattleboro, VT was awarded $4,356. The grant will be used to develop a project in conjunction with the courts, state’s attorney’s office and Social and Rehabilitative Services. The project will establish mediation services for cases involving the abuse and neglect of children and in Termination of Parental Rights cases.
King County Dispute Resolution Services, Seattle, WA was awarded $3,640 for program development. Funds will be used to hire a Court Program Coordinator to coordinate the services offered at the nine divisions of the King County District Court.
Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima & Kittitas Counties, Yakima, WA received a minigrant of $5,000. Funds will be used to develop and offer a series of workshops for low-income residents on conflict resolution, communication skills, community/police interaction, and landlord/tenant issues.
Community Justice Initiatives, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada was awarded $3,225. The grant will support the Sport Mediation and Reconciliation Team (SMART), which addresses conflicts that erupt in sports.
For further information, contact Joanne Hartman, Associate Director at (202) 667-9700 ext. 219; email@example.com; http://www.nafcm.org.
CPR President Emeritus James F. Henry to Be Honored by ABA Section of Dispute Resolution New York, NY, April 17, 2001
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution announced today that CPR Founder and President Emeritus James F. Henry will receive the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution's prestigious D'Alemberte/Raven Award, Friday, April 27, at a ceremony at the United States Supreme Court. Justice John Paul Stevens, Benjamin F. Overton, Senior Justice Supreme Court of Florida, and Hon. William H. Webster, of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, will participate in the ceremony.
The D'Alemberte/Raven Award, presented annually in conjunction with the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Meeting, recognizes members of the bar who have contributed significantly to the field by developing new and innovative procedures and practices to resolve legal conflicts economically and expeditiously.
In response to what he saw as a real need in the legal community, Mr. Henry founded the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution in 1979 and served as its President and CEO until January 2001. Previously, he was a partner in a New York law firm and president of the E.M. Clark Foundation, a major philanthropy with a significant focus on justice issues. Publisher and author of several ADR publications, he is a graduate of Williams College and the Georgetown University Law Center. He served on the White House Task Force on Private Initiatives and serves as director on several corporate and private boards.
Since the award was first presented in 1995 to Roger Fisher, the ABA has honored several prestigious figures in the field of dispute resolution, such as former Attorney General Janet Reno in 1997 and Harvard Professor Frank E.A. Sander in 1999.
The award is named for Robert D. Raven of San Francisco and Talbot D'Alemberte of Tallahassee, two past ABA Presidents who were also Dispute Resolution Chairs. Both guided the ABA to be a leader in the dispute resolution arena.
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, established in 1979, is a widely respected alliance of 500 general counsel of global corporations, partners of major law firms and renowned academics, formed to integrate ADR into the mainstream of law departments and firms. CPR has earned international recognition as an authority on innovative uses of ADR for business and public disputes. CPR identifies new uses for ADR; educates law departments, law firms, government agencies and the judiciary; and facilitates dispute resolution use through the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals. CPR has actively promoted ADR with its CPR pledge committing approximately 4000 companies to seriously consider ADR in conflicts with other signatories. Additional information is atwww.cpradr.org
EEOC To Utilize Computer-based Training To Improve Federal Sector EEO Process April 4, 2001
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a new computer-based training initiative for federal agencies and stakeholders as part of its broader efforts to improve the federal sector complaint process. The training is being conducted through the use of a state-of-the-art CD-ROM that provides comprehensive information and interactive instruction to federal employees, managers, and others involved in the federal EEO process. The CD is fully accessible to people with disabilities.
"This innovative CD-ROM will allow all of those with a stake in the federal sector EEO process to receive valuable computer-based training wherever and whenever it is needed," said Commission Chairwoman Ida L. Castro, "which, in turn, will help ensure that the EEO process is fair, effective, and efficient for federal workers and managers alike. Computer-based training will move us closer to creating a model federal workplace."
The CD-ROM, entitled Sailing Through the Federal Sector EEO Process, is being issued by EEOC to federal agencies and stakeholders. It contains innovative features such as audio narration, sizable text, and keyboard alternatives, which make it fully accessible for individuals with disabilities. In addition to the training information, the CD also includes additional reference material on the federal sector program, including sections of the Code of Federal Regulations governing the federal sector complaint process (29 C.F.R. Part 1614), and the implementing guidance covering the federal sector regulations and EEO process (EEOC Management Directive 110).
Additional information about the computer-based training can be obtained by contacting EEOC's Office of Federal Operations by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government.
Further information about the Commission is available on its Web site at www.eeoc.gov.
CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution and Online Resolution Announce Strategic Partnership New York, NY—Business Wire—April 4, 2001
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, the leading proponent of dispute resolution to corporations and law firms in the United States, today announced a strategic partnership with Online Resolution, the premiere business-to-business online dispute resolution service provider.
“Online dispute resolution is the new frontier,” said Tom Stipanowich, President of CPR. “Corporations and consumer groups are starting to see a real need for redress in conflicts arising over the Internet, and they are calling for ethical and economic online dispute resolution services. Online Resolution has stepped up to meet this challenge with integrity and unparalleled technology.”
The partnership with Online Resolution complements work that CPR spearheaded last year with its B2B ADR Initiative, which offered four tools for management of disputes arising from online business-to-business transactions. Under the terms of the agreement, Online Resolution and CPR will co-develop advanced ODR tools and make them available to CPR’s worldwide network of General Counsels, law firms and ADR practitioners such as mediators, arbitrators and teachers.
“In CPR we have found the optimal partner to bridge the gap between top-tier offline ADR and the global e-commerce marketplaces of the 21st century,” said Colin Rule, President of Online Resolution.
About Online Resolution
Online Resolution, Inc. provides a complete range of dispute resolution services, including mediation, arbitration and negotiation, to help people and businesses resolve their disputes without going to court. Online Resolution builds and customizes online collaborative platforms to meet the dispute resolution needs of international and domestic corporations, government agencies and academic institutions. More information is at www.onlineresolution.com.
About the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, established in 1979, is a widely respected alliance of 500 general counsel of global corporations, partners of major law firms and renowned academics, formed to integrate ADR into the mainstream of law departments and firms. CPR has earned international recognition as an authority on innovative uses of ADR for business and public disputes. CPR identifies new uses for ADR; educates law departments, law firms, government agencies and the judiciary; and facilitates dispute resolution use through the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals. CPR has actively promoted ADR with its CPR pledge committing approximately 4000 companies to seriously consider ADR in conflicts with other signatories. Additional information is at www.cpradr.org.
F. Peter Phillips Vice President CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Tel: 212-949-6490 Fax: 212-949-8859
Disclosure of Mediation Communication not Prejudicial Howard v. Ramsey, --- Ohio App. 3d ---, 2001 Ohio App. LEXIS 992 (03/09/01)
Defendant Ramseys claims that their agreement with Howard is void because some information that was discussed during the mediation proceeding was disclosed to a third party. That third party happened to be the counsel for Merchant Bank and Trust, another defendant in the case. The court reasoned that disclosure of mediation communications is not a problem if there consent by the parties. Further, the court decided that the parties had waived any objection they had concerning the disclosure when they offered the agreement as evidence for the trial court's consideration. Therefore, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in enforcing the settlement agreement between the parties.
Would Romeo and Juliet Have Ended Tragically If They Had Known Conflict Resolution Skills? Monday April 2, 2001
HOUSTON, Texas--(BW HealthWire)--April 2, 2001-- With the dramatic increase in physical violence and shootings in today's schools, it has become critical that children learn there are smarter ways than fighting and violence to resolve today's problems.
To address this growing issue, AMERIGROUP Texas, Inc. is presenting Romeo & Juliet: Conflict Resolved, a live-theater program that will provide nearly 10,000 Houston-area school children with tools to help them move toward successful conflict resolution.
Sponsored by AMERIGROUP, Romeo and Juliet: Conflict Resolved, is an award-winning interactive theatrical program promoting conflict resolution. Developed by the National Theatre for Children, the educational production will visit 30 elementary schools in H.I.S.D., reaching students in kindergarten through sixth grade, beginning April 4 through May 2. A total of 63 performances will be presented during the spring.
A special presentation will be performed at 11:30 a.m., Friday, April 27, at Garcia Elementary, 9550 Aldine Westfield, for students and faculty, local public officials, community leaders and the media. It is expected that nearly 500 people will attend the presentation.
``In 2000 alone, there were more than 200 gun-related deaths and injuries in Houston. These incidents help solidify the importance of making children realize there are healthy ways to resolve issues,' said Amy Williams, president of AMERIGROUP Texas, Inc.'s Houston operation. ``AMERIGROUP believes education is one of the best ways to inspire good preventive health measures. A message about conflict resolution is the kind of sound preventive education that should be delivered to young audiences.'
To complement the educational initiative, students and teachers will be given classroom workbooks, teacher guides and Playworks Online, which enables teachers to access additional classroom education activities on the Internet. Romeo & Juliet: Conflict Resolved was developed by the National Theatre for Children in conjunction with the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.
Based on the original play by William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet: Conflict Resolved updates the classic story with the two feuding families interfering in the blossoming friendship between Romeo and Juliet. Juliet convinces the narrator that by making different choices in life, conflict can be eliminated and the families can be friends, not enemies. All of the major characters make an appearance, assisted by a teenage narrator and volunteers from the audience. Written in contemporary dialogue, the play presents Shakespeare's work in a way students can easily understand, while it imparts valuable problem-solving lessons.
In addition to Romeo & Juliet: Conflict Resolved, AMERIGROUP is sponsoring 2 Smart 2 Smoke throughout the Houston area this spring. 2 Smart 2 Smoke uses interactive entertainment to educate children about the health and social hazards of smoking.
AMERIGROUP Texas, Inc. is the Texas health plan subsidiary of AMERIGROUP Corporation. By working to create a difference in the lives of the communities it serves, AMERIGROUP has become one of America's leading health care coverage companies dedicated to helping lower-income families and people with disabilities live healthy lives. The company operates health plans in four states and the District of Columbia and serves more than 330,000 members, of which approximately 75 percent are children. Visit www.amerigroupcorp.com for more information.
EPA Ombuds Bill Introduced March 23, 2001
Washington, DC - Legislation introduced today by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig and Colorado Senator Wayne Allard would revamp the operations of the EPA Ombudsman's Office and make it a truly independent watchdog office within the EPA. The Ombudsman Reauthorization Act of 2001 proposes to reauthorize the Ombudsman oversight office within EPA to conduct investigations, make findings of fact, and furnish reports on those findings to the EPA and Congress.
The Ombudsman's office has played an oversight role in EPA operations, but as of late has been an "at will" office because its authority under statute had expired. The Crapo-Allard-Craig legislation seeks to renew that authority for ten years and guarantee a budget free from those who might be directly the subject of an investigation.
"We have twice seen in Idaho the important role the Ombudsman serves as a fact-finder to review EPA actions," Crapo noted, referring to the Ombudsman's work in North Idaho and Triumph. "These reviews have also been welcomed by many of us in the Senate as we seek to understand what has motivated some EPA listings. Clearly, not all justify as a huge expense to the taxpayer, and cases right here in Idaho have already demonstrated that. The public needs the confidence that the Ombudsman's activities will be truly independent to ensure sound operation of the EPA, and the Ombudsman deserves the stability this legislation will bring."
Allard said, "This legislation will ensure that citizens have someone to turn to when they feel their concerns and questions are not being addressed by the EPA.
For the first time, we are ensuring the EPA Ombudsman's office can do its job free from agency interference." Craig said, "I believe it is important to reauthorize the role of the EPA Ombudsman, because it offers a venue and voice for local communities when they become frustrated with actions and policies of the federal agency."
The Ombudsman Reauthorization Act of 2001 clarifies the ombudsman will oversee a regional network of independent fact-gathering groups and can obtain subpoenas and hold hearings to gather information. The ombudsman does not need EPA permission to gather information on confidential documents or records under the administrative jurisdiction of the EPA.
Under the guidelines established in the Crapo-Allard-Craig bill, the ombudsman reports directly to the EPA Administrator, but also is responsible to write annual reports to two Congressional committees as noted earlier. The bill also provides for criminal penalties for anyone knowingly obstructing or misleading the work of the ombudsman's office.
EPA's Draft Public Involvement Policy March 2001
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Draft 2000 Public Involvement Policy on December 28, 2000 and is seeking public comments on the Policy through April 27, 2001. The Policy will provide guidance and direction to EPA officials on effective means to involve the public in its regulatory and program decisions. The Draft Policy was developed based on recommendations in the Engaging the American People: A Review of EPA's Public Participation Policy and Regulations with Recommendations for Action report.
For more information go to www.epa.gov/reinvent/stakeholders/policy
Coming to Your State Soon? The Uniform Mediation Act March 2001
Final Committee Draft. The Uniform Mediation Act is now heading towards its final adoption vote. The last scheduled drafting meeting of the NCCUSL and ABA UMA drafting committees was completed on February 11. A nearly-final interim draft, incorporating the changes made at the New Orleans meeting, is posted at http://www.ronkelly.com
Any last-minute pleas to correct serious flaws or oversights should be sent immediately to the Reporters (, , and ). The final committee draft, along with official comments describing the intent of the proposed legislation, is scheduled to be out by May 1.The Act will then go to its final reading before the full National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law at its annual meeting, to be held August 10-17 in West Virginia. It will be debated, possibly amended, and put to a vote of the delegates of the fifty states. Assuming it is adopted (very likely), the Act could then be introduced as legislation in individual states as early as this coming fall.
Summary of Latest Changes. In New Orleans, the drafters continued to refine and clarify the wording of the Act. They also made a few significant changes in response to input from the organized mediation community, major users of mediation and bar associations. Most important perhaps were: 1) New language intending to be sure parties do not view their mediator as a future witness against them. It states that "a mediator may not be compelled to provide evidence of a mediation communication or testify" if the parties are fighting about their settlement in court later (Section 7 c). 2) A broad new clause providing that "a mediation communication is confidential" (Section 5 a). The drafters further expanded confidentiality by broadening the definition of protected mediation communications (Section 3, paragraph 4) and eliminating two previous exceptions to the mediation privilege (Section 7).
Act Intended to Strengthen Confidentiality. The desirability of this Act has been hotly debated in a large number of states, especially those already having what they consider stronger protections. To clarify the intent of the Act, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution sent out a description containing the statement that "The Act is crafted as a minimum level of protection in those states that have none and is not meant to replace stronger confidentiality protections already on the books." The Official Reporters for both the NCCUSL and ABA Drafting Committees, Nancy Rogers and Richard Reuben, confirmed that this statement accurately reflected their understandings as well. It appears that a very broad consensus has finally emerged on how to enact sound public policy on mediation.
Ron Kelly, Berkeley, Official Observer (email@example.com)
(Permission granted to reprint in newsletters, online journals, etc.).
Michigan Considers a Cybercourt NY Times
Thursday, February 22, 2001
To lure technology companies to Michigan, Gov.
John Engler wants to establish a separate
"cybercourt" for cases involving technology and
high-tech businesses, where virtually everything
would be done via computer rather than in a
Briefs could be filed online, evidence viewed by
streaming video, oral arguments delivered by
teleconferencing, conferences held by e- mail.
Lawyers would not have to be in Michigan or even
be licensed to practice in the state. Cases could be
heard any time of the day, even at night, and judges
would be trained to understand the complex issues
that arise in technology disputes.
At least one other state, Maryland, is planning a
separate judicial division to make the state more
attractive to high-tech businesses. Legal experts
predict other states will follow. But some lawyers
and judges say the idea raises questions about many
issues, including handling evidence and training
CPR Institute Unveils International ADR Page February 21, 2001
New York, NY, February 21, 2001 - - The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution announced today the launch of an International ADR page on its Web site (www.cpradr.org).
The page currently includes information about CPR's European ADR Program, European ADR Clauses, and European ADR Procedures. In addition, users can find the recently revised CPR Rules For International Non Administered Arbitration. As a further enhancement, both the Model Mediation Procedures and the Dispute Resolution Clauses are also available in French, Italian, German and Spanish. New features to the page will be added on a continual basis.
"In the age of global e-commerce, familiarity with international dispute resolution is essential to business," said Thomas J. Stipanowich, CPR president and CEO. "We intend for our Web site to be a resource for both U.S. and foreign companies."
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, established in 1979, is a widely respected alliance of 500 general counsel of global corporations and partners of major law firms formed to integrate ADR into the mainstream of law departments and law firms. CPR has earned international recognition as an authority on new and innovative uses of ADR for business and public disputes. CPR conducts research and development of new uses of ADR; educates law departments, firms and the judiciary; and facilitates dispute resolution use through the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals. Additional information about CPR can be found at www.cpradr.org
ABA Conference On Infrastructure, The Environment And Dispute Resolution In The Americas June 18-20, 2001
Camino Real Inter-Continental Hotel, San Jose, Costa Rica
Building on our groundbreaking conference in Buenos Aires in 1997, the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law and colleagues are convening a follow-up conference in Costa Rica this summer.
Over the past four years, the pace of economic integration in the Americas has quickened, and attention to environmental concerns as they affect private investment and infrastructure development has increased dramatically. Costa Rica 2001 will draw leaders from the public and private sectors throughout the Americas to consider key issues, including: * The role of environmental protection in infrastructure development; * Compliance with expanding environmental and social review procedures of multilateral and U.S. financial institutions; * Experience with public and private conflict management and dispute resolution mechanisms; * Practical obstacles to project development, industrial siting, and regional trade, including financing requirements; * Information technology innovations for environmental and infrastructure projects
The Conference features a half-dozen plenary sessions with experts from the corporate, government, financial and NGO sectors from countries in the Americas. In addition, an eco-field trip is in the works for the prior weekend. Substantial networking opportunities will occur throughout the Conference, and simultaneous English-Spanish interpretation will be provided. Among our featured guests we expect John O'Leary, U.S. Ambassador to Chile and the Chairman of Buenos Aires '97.
We look forward to welcoming you to Costa Rica in June. For more information or an official program brochure, please e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send the enclosed reply form.
CONFERENCE PARTNERS AND COOPERATING INSTITUTIONS Arnold & Porter * Beveridge & Diamond * Duane, Morris & Heckscher * Holland & Knight * Latham & Watkins Duke Energy American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution * ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Resources and its ADR Coordinating Group * ABA Section of International Law and Practice (SILP) and SILP Task Force on Cross-Cultural Negotiations and Dispute Resolution * ABA Law Practice Management Section * Association of International Petroleum Negotiators * CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution * Environmental Law Institute * The Florida Bar's Environmental and Land Use Law Section * State Bar of Texas ADR Section * Texas-Mexico Bar Association * University of Florida College of Law * University of Houston-Clear Lake Center for Conflict Analysis and Management * University of Houston Law Center
The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) is pleased to
announce the first round of grant recipients in the NAFCM Minigrant program.
NAFCM supports the maintenance and growth of community-based mediation
programs and processes; presents a compelling voice in appropriate
policy-making, legislative, professional and other arenas; and encourages
the development and sharing of resources for these efforts. NAFCM is the
only national association dedicated to the advancement of community
CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Presents Awards for Excellence in ADR January 24, 2001
New York, NY, January 24, 2001 - - The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution announced the winners of the 2000 CPR Awards for Excellence in ADR.
The award for Outstanding Practical Achievement will be given to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), for their Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and Domain Name Dispute Resolution Service: a fair, economical, effective approach to resolving domain name disputes arising in the new medium of the Internet.
Significant Practical Achievement awards will be presented to REDRESS: the EEO Mediation Program of the U.S. Postal Service, for mediating 12,000 complaints in FY 2000 with a closure rate of 80 percent, and the Maryland ADR Commission, for their consensus building process and Practical Action Plan to advance ADR use throughout Maryland.
Robert S. Adler & Elliot M. Silverstein will accept the Articles Prize for When David Meets Goliath: Dealing with Power Differentials in Negotiation, Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Volume 5, Spring 2000; and Beverly Draine Fowler, Paul Garver, Glenda D. Gelzleichter, Jonathon Goodman, Tanya Johnston, Liza-Marie Merida, Jason Noel, Timothy G. Pepper and Kristen Whitmer, will accept the Student Articles Prize for Planning Mediation Programs: A Deskbook for Common Pleas Judges, The Supreme Court of Ohio Office of Dispute Resolution, 2000.
Book Prizes will be presented to Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet and Andrew S. Tulumello, for Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000; and to editors Morton Deutsch and Peter T. Coleman, for The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000.
CPR’s 18th awards ceremony will be held in conjuction with the annual Winter Meeting, January 25th, at the University Club in New York.
The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, established in 1979, is a widely respected alliance of 500 general counsel of global corporations and partners of major law firms formed to integrate ADR into the mainstream of law departments and law firms. CPR has earned international recognition as an authority on new and innovative uses of ADR for business and public disputes. CPR conducts research and development of new uses of ADR; educates law departments, firms and the judiciary; and facilitates dispute resolution use through the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals. Additional information about CPR can be found at www.cpradr.org.
Former Chevron Latin America President to Lead Premier Conflict Resolution Innovator January 2001
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Online Resolution, Inc. (OR), the leading provider of full-spectrum dispute resolution services over the Internet, today announced that David Steele, a well-known Fortune 50 business leader, has joined the Company as CEO.
Dr. Steele moves into the company's top spot after 20 years of richly varied executive experience in global business development, operations, and finance in the energy, telecommunications, and information technology industries. He replaces Colin Rule, one of OR's co-founders, who will stay actively involved as President.
Online Resolution's new CEO has held responsibility for corporate activities in more than 25 countries. Most recently, as President of Chevron Latin America from 1996 to 1999, Steele grew revenues for this division from $50 million to $1 billion in three years with profits of almost $200 million. Previously at Chevron, Dr. Steele held positions as Vice President Finance for a $5.3 billion division and General Manager of a $1.7 billion division, directing operations with more than 2,300 employees.
"David brings energy, discipline and global experience to OR," said Jim Melamed, co-founder of OR and CEO of mediate.com. "We believe that David has precisely the skills necessary to cement OR's position as the world's premiere online dispute resolution company. His experience building businesses from the ground up will ensure that OR stays the top provider of global dispute resolution services."
The company has also engaged Leonard Kramer & Associates (http://www.LKcapital.com), an Investment Banking firm based in Massachusetts, as senior advisors and to assist in raising expansion capital. As Principals and Bankers, the firm has 25 years of experience in investments and recapitalizations. According to Leonard Kramer, "the addition of David Steele to a management group steeped in the industry creates a matchless team."
"OR is a great company, with unparalleled expertise and market position," Steele said. "The online dispute resolution space has almost unlimited potential. I am excited to help OR become the global standard for resolving disputes over the Internet."
Founded by three of the country's leading experts in dispute resolution, Online Resolution, Inc. is the leading provider of online mediation and arbitration services. OR's platform is the most robust solution currently available for obtaining redress online.
For more information, visit Online Resolution's website or contact Bill Toll at 617-621-1518.
Announcement for ADR Cyberweek 2001 The University of Massachusetts Center for Information Technology and
Dispute Resolution is pleased to invite you to attend and participate in ADR
Cyberweek 2001 A Laboratory in Online Dispute Resolution, our third
annual all-online conference to be held February 26 through March 2, 2000.
This year Cyberweek will feature the following:
Web based conference panels with professionals, scholars,
practitioners, and entrepreneurs in Information Technology (IT) and
Dispute Resolution (DR)
Demonstrations of systems, products, and practices which take
advantage of IT in conflict or dispute avoidance and resolution
Conflict resolution and negotiation simulations utilizing IT tools and
products, as well as involving conference participants as role players,
Exposition of knowledge bases and information sources for IT and DR
Opportunities for informal question and answer sessions with
entrepreneurs, policy makers, and scholars
Workshops and training sessions Public Policy, Ethics, Online
Arbitration and Mediation
If you would like to participate in any way, please take a moment to fill out
our Cyberweek 2001 participation form or feel free to contact us. Further
information and registration details are forthcoming. We look forward to
seeing you in February!
Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution
216 Hampshire House
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
American Arbitration Association Announces New ECommerce Protocol: Standards Developed for Online Business-to-Business Dispute Management January 2001
New York, NY, January 4, 2001 - The American Arbitration Association (AAA), the
nation's largest dispute resolution provider, announced today that they have
developed, in collaboration with key industry leaders, a new B2B eCommerce dispute
management protocol. Initial signatories to the protocol include AT&T; BellSouth;
Clifford Chance LLP; DaimlerChrysler AG; Debevoise & Plimpton; FedEx Corporation;
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Honeywell; Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP;
Microsoft Corporation; PepsiCo, Inc.; Philips Semiconductors, Inc.; Pitney Bowes,
Inc.; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Sullivan & Cromwell; Unisys
Corporation; Wells Fargo & Company; and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.
Approximately $1.2 trillion was spent in business-to-business electronic commerce
in 2000 - and analysts project a $4.8 trillion market in 2004. With more companies
than ever entering this arena, business disputes are inevitable and threaten to disrupt
the continuity of the B2B supply chain.
According to William K. Slate II, president and CEO of the AAA, companies looking
to profit from this growing marketplace need to learn to avoid the pitfalls of protracted
court battles that can last years and cost billions. Traditional companies have long
recognized the enormous benefits of alternative dispute resolution (ADR),
experiencing resolutions that are less expensive than litigation, are private, and
enable them to preserve and even enhance relationships and uphold the continuity of
business. Now these benefits will become a standard for the digital marketplace.
"This protocol is an educational wake-up call," said Slate. "Setting a global standard
will give practitioners the necessary confidence and trust in online transactions to be
successful in B2B eCommerce." Furthermore, in order to make seamless "eDispute
management" a reality, the AAA is creating a new technology-focused service,
details of which will be announced soon. In addition, the AAA is developing an
alliance program with related business support providers and B2B eMarkets to
provide the benefits of eCommerce dispute management to their customers. For
more information, call Debi Miller-Moore, Vice President, at 704-905-1488, or e-mail
her at MooreD@adr.org.