Alternative Dispute Resolution Week 2014

Center for Excellence in Advocacy
Fall 2014 Alternative Dispute Resolution Week

The purpose of this weeklong event is to expose students at Washburn University School of Law, and potentially practitioners and judges in the community as well, to current and developing issues in Alternative Dispute Resolution.  The event this year will have a Mediation focus and the presentations will lean towards that area as a result, though ADR in general will also be woven in to the presentations.   All in attendance will get a broad exposure to the various issues and applications of both concepts in a myriad variety of cases and practice areas.

Monday, November 4  - The Future of Case Resolution – An Introduction and The Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Council

Art Thompson, Retired Dispute Resolution Coordinator with the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration

Mr. Thompson will present a discussion of the recent shift of the Court towards resolving case backlogs by encouraging early and regular settlement work and mediation in all cases.  He will talk about the Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Council and the history and process towards the ADR focus and processes that are in place and practice today. 

Art Thompson recently retired at the Dispute Resolution Coordinator for the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration. He worked with courts, the state government, and nonprofit organizations to establish mediation programs and other methods of resolving disputes. He was employed for sixteen years with the Kansas Bar Association, and one of his assignments was to staff the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. Mr. Thompson worked with two Kansas Supreme Court committees concerning alternative dispute resolution in 1988 and 1992, and was appointed to the Kansas legislative-authorized Advisory Council on Dispute Resolution in 1995. He received mediation training in 1986 at the Center for Dispute Resolution.

Tuesday, November 5 - ADR Topics CLE Program

Larry Rute with Associates in Dispute Resolution, L.L.C. will provide two hours of CLE training for attorneys and students may also attend in whole or in part.

Successful Commercial Mediation Best Practices at 1:30 to 2:20

This presentation will discuss the growth of commercial mediation practices in jurisdictions throughout the United States. Particular attention will be given to mediation preparation by counsel and the parties, case-by-case customization of mediation, mediation timing, mediator selection, pre-mediation conference, when to consider making an opening statement at mediation, the advantage of the mediator meeting privately with the parties, and evolving monetary negotiation techniques.

Negotiation Ethics in Kansas and Missouri from 2:30 to 3:20

This session will cover ethical obligations in negotiations such as competence, truthfulness, fairness to the opposing party, keeping the client informed and maintaining the clients' confidences. Other topics to be included are discussion of issues relating to candor toward the tribunal, rules relating to lawyers serving as third-party neutrals, and ethical standards for mediators.Larry R. Rute is partner and co-founder of Associates in Dispute Resolution. Prior to founding ADR he served for many years as General Counsel and Litigation Director for Kansas Legal Services, Inc., and Special Counsel and Legislative Liaison for the Midland Group.  He also served as Coordinator of Mediation Services for Midland Mediation and Settlement Services.  Larry has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of contract, employment, personal injury and family law disputes. He was instrumental in establishing and administrating the Kansas Human Rights Commission’s Volunteer Mediation Program, the EEOC’s Voluntary Mediation Program and the Supreme Court’s “Access to Justice” mediation program. As a trial attorney, he successfully litigated several class action civil rights matters in both state and federal court, including the establishment of due process rights for individuals facing mental health commitment and conditions-of-confinement matters for individuals in state and local institutions.

Wednesday, November 6 - Domestic Mediation

Deborah Medlock, J.D., President of the Heartland Mediators Association, will discuss domestic case mediation.  She will talk about the advantages of mediation in family matters, the types of issues that are covered (from the common to the unusual), and will talk about the mediation process in Johnson County through the Court Services programming.   She intends to allow plenty of time for student questions as well.  

Deborah Medlock received her J.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law in 1988.  After completion of law school she worked in the business world until 1996 when she first became aware of mediation.  She has been a full time domestic mediator at Johnson County Court Services beginning in 2000 and has worked with well over 2000 families.  She currently also teaches Domestic Mediation at Johnson County Community College, is a “mentor mediator” and is the president-elect of Heartland Mediators Association.

Thursday, November 6 - "Mediation vs. Alternative Dispute Resolution by Trial "

This presentation will focus law students on the current reality that most cases actually will be settled by some sort of alternative dispute resolution process and thus raises the premise that actual trial, and certainly jury trials, are becoming the real “alternative” to resolution of legal disputes.  Mr. Palmer will talk about how students need to focus on preparing for a mediation at the same level and focus they would actually prepare for a trial with an understanding that the case will likely be resolved at that point in the process.  He will speak form his experience as a third party neutral and address what he has seen that works well and what he has seen that has not served his clients well. 

Jerry Palmer, with Palmer Mediation, L.L.C. and Palmer, Leatherman, White and Girard, L.L.P.,  specializes in mediation of complicated business disputes, construction disputes, medical malpractice, and product liability. Other areas of expertise include defamation, professional liability, explosion and property damage claims, disability insurance, partnership dissolution, employment and contract issues, and general tort. Having resolved hundreds of complex disputes, Jerry also lectures in both professional and academic forums on the subject of mediation. He has mediated over 1,100 cases.

Drawing mediation expertise from 40 years of litigation experience representing both plaintiff’s and defendant’s viewpoints, Jerry is recognized by the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri and is certified by the Kansas Supreme Court as a mediator for core and civil cases.

Friday, November 8 -  “Pre-Cognitive Barriers In Mediation, Resolution And Settlement.”

Mr. Nichols will be presenting, “Pre-Cognitive Barriers In Mediation, Resolution And Settlement.”  The program will explore the role that precognitive barriers play in obstructing settlement and resolution. Participants will learn to understand the critical role that bias and emotions play in our thought processes which will provide them tools for managing those processes when they interfere with effective decision making in the dispute resolution process.

Mr. Nichols is a partner in Associates in Dispute Resolution, LLC and practices in the Kansas City, and eastern Kansas areas.  His practice is primarily mediation focusing on complex disputes including employment and personal injury.  He mediates workplace conflicts and establishes workplace resolution programs.  He has been listed as a Kansas, Missouri super lawyer since 2006 and listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1995.