Committee Chair Corner – Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
Barze Taylor Noles Lowther LLC
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is important with respect to any legal dispute, large or small, filed or unfiled, domestic or international. Mediations can be helpful for disputes involving almost any type of client—unrepresented individuals; angry personal injury or wrongful death plaintiffs; “mom and pop” business owners; or Fortune 500 general counsel. Arbitration provisions can bridge a gap when negotiating dispute resolution and choice of law provisions in a business deal or provide a viable and acceptable venue between parties on opposite sides of the globe. In short, every attorney practicing law in the 21st century needs to understand various ADR options and how to practice therein.
Considering the importance of ADR in the legal field, it is somewhat surprising that the ADR Committee is one of the smaller Committees in the IADC. That being said, I am proud to have served as Committee Chair for the past two years, as we have grown participation in monthly conference calls, presented at all Midyear and Annual IADC Meetings, conducted Webinars, and performed other tasks directed at providing exposure and business development opportunities for our Committee members. Indeed, one of the benefits of being a smaller Committee is that, if you are willing to volunteer, it does not take long to get involved in Committee leadership. And there is always an opportunity to present on an internal programming panel.
One project carried out by our Committee over the last year or so is the creation of a list of arbitrators (published on the IADC website - https://www.iadclaw.org/find-a-lawyer/member-arbitrators/) who are members of the IADC. Scott Marrs spearheaded this project. This not only provides a resource for IADC members looking to appoint and select arbitrators, but it also provides a real opportunity for IADC arbitrators to market themselves to other IADC members and, hopefully, obtain new work they otherwise may not have gotten. After all, that’s the main reason all of us joined the IADC—networking!
Additionally, the ADR committee is truly an international Committee. I participated on an ADR internal programming panel with members from China, Ukraine, and Canada. During our most recent monthly conference call, we had members participating from Brazil and South Africa. That is because, worldwide, arbitration and other dispute resolution activities are of increasing importance. In a world with many unpredictable and oftentimes slow legal systems, arbitration is an almost universally accepted—and enforceable—mechanism for resolving disputes.
We would encourage everyone whose practice involves ADR (which, as set forth above, probably includes every member in the IADC) to become involved in our Committee. Our monthly conference calls are the perfect place to start. We make an effort to allow any new or unknown participants to introduce themselves and tell us about their practice. In fact, our April conference call led to a new participant becoming listed on the aforementioned IADC arbitrator list. We hope you consider joining the monthly calls.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.