November 2015 Bar Bulletin
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November 2015 Bar Bulletin

ADR Section Offers Inside Knowledge

By Elizabeth L. Silvestrini


Although we may think the rewards of alternative dispute resolution far outweigh the risks, there can be downsides to settling conflict outside of court. For example, there is always the potential for one party to disclose confidential communications made in mediation. There is also arguably an incentive for arbitrators to skew their awards based on their concern for repeat business. Alternative dispute resolution may also prevent new case precedent on issues of broad public importance.

Acknowledging these challenges makes us more effective counselors for our clients and more credible advocates of the ADR process, which offers significant rewards notwithstanding the risks.

The KCBA ADR Section explores these and other issues during its monthly meetings, many of which offer CLE credit to attendees practicing or interested in alternative dispute resolution.

The 2015-16 KCBA ADR Section cycle kicked off on September 10, with a well-attended presentation by Cristin Fenzel on "Web-Savvy Writing for Attorneys and Mediators." One month later, in celebration of ABA Mediation Week (Oct. 11-17), the Section hosted a reception featuring a panel discussion with members of the Escalating Costs of Civil Litigation (ECCL) Task Force chartered by the WSBA Board of Governors. The ECCL Task Force was commissioned in part to make recommendations on controlling the increasingly expensive cost of litigation. October's panel included Alan Alhadeff, Russ Aoki, Breean Beggs and Isham Reavis, with Sasha Philip as the moderator. A big thanks to these individuals for making this event a great success.

Our November meeting will feature a presentation by Jean Marie Clavere on the ethics of negotiation. In the coming months, the KCBA ADR Section will be focusing on intercultural communication in mediation, and the risks and rewards of alternative dispute resolution.

Finally, the KCBA ADR Section would like to recognize those individuals who presented at section meetings during the 2014-15 cycle. A special thank you to the following individuals: Sarah Armstrong, Jeff Bean, Stephanie Bell, Jean Marie Clavere, Hon. Bruce Hilyer, Courtney Kaylor, Andrew Kidde, Lisa Leone, Donna Lurie, Emily Martin, Shannon McFarlin, Sasha Philip, Edryce Reynolds, Hon. Eric Watness and Wallace Wilkins.


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