The mission of the Committee on ADR is to promote the effective and fair use of arbitration and mediation by parties and their counsel seeking alternative processes for resolving disputes.
The Committee engages in this mission through such activities as the follows: identifying Best Practices, from the perspectives of litigators and arbitrators, for the conducting of expeditious, economical and fair arbitrations; focusing on Best Practices, from the perspectives of counsel and mediators, for the conducting of effective mediations; keeping abreast of case law and practice developments in these areas; writing reports on emerging law and practice as to arbitration and mediation; liaison with other committees of ComFed and of the NYSBA interested in arbitration and mediation; supporting federal and state court-administered ADR programs in New York through communications with them as to their needs, along with communications with our membership and that of ComFed generally as to ways we can help fulfill the needs of such court programs; working with state and federal legislatures and courts, as well as with other bar association committees and professional entities, on matters having to do with arbitration and mediation; continued support of the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act and the Uniform Mediation Act in the New York State legislature; conducting CLE programs on arbitration and mediation; and engaging in such activities in connection with other forms of ADR, such as collaborative law.
The Committee has meetings approximately every two months, which are conducted essentially as follows: First, a speaker of prominence in arbitration or mediation is generally invited to speak on a topic of interest to the Committee, following which there is typically a far-reaching discussion.
Second, the Committee discusses and advances ongoing projects, such as the preparation of reports and the planning of CLE events.
Finally, we have a brainstorming session, at which any member may raise issues with which he or she is presently grappling in the arbitration or mediation areas for general discussion.
Recent speakers have included a former Federal Bankruptcy Judge and a sitting Supreme Court Justice in the Commercial Division, addressing the subject of the interplay between the courts and arbitration and mediation, and the attitude of the courts to these processes. Our most recent program included the administrator of the mediation programs in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, who briefed us on those programs, including their needs and the opportunities they present mediators for experience and professional development.
An upcoming meeting will be addressed by a Vice President of the American Arbitration Association, discussing the topic of current developments in arbitration, including a review of the recently revised Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association.
As to long-term projects, the Committee is now embarked on a study of Best Practices of litigators representing clients in arbitration. The focus of the study is on how arbitration differs from court-based litigation, and what these differences suggest in terms of different practices litigators might use in representing clients in arbitration versus in court.
We welcome the participation by our members. You are encouraged to join our meetings, whether in person or by phone, and to suggest, work on, and hopefully take a leadership role in projects you think we should be undertaking. We would like to have as broad participation as possible from lawyers across the state and are committed to ComFed’s diversity objectives as to inclusiveness.