We have such an incredible group of people in our community doing wonderful work in so many different areas.

Forty years ago, at the 1976 Pound Conference, Frank Sander proposed the multi-door courthouse.  Before then, mediation and arbitration had been widely used in the labor context for decades but there wasn’t much else going on in the DR world.  Of course, the multi-door courthouse focused only on legal disputes in the US.

Forty years later, DR professionals around the world have organized a series of events under the rubric of the “Global Pound Conference,” following the 1976 and 1906 Pound conferences.  On November 7, Cardozo School of Law is hosting a symposium to consider the three Pound Conference events and what they have contributed and might contribute to the dispute resolution field.  Professor Thomas Stipanowich (Pepperdine) will give a keynote address, and other distinguished speakers will follow:  Professor Lisa Blomgren Amsler (Indiana), Professor Brian Farkas (Baruch), Professor Alyson Carrel (Northwestern), Professor Mariana Hernandez Crespo (University of St. Thomas Law School), Professor Noam Ebner (Creighton), Daniel Garrie (JAMS), Noah Hanft (CPR), Professor Donna Erez Navot (Cardozo), Professor Ethan Katsh (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Debbie Masucci (IMI), Jeremy Lack, Esq., Professor Lela Love (Cardozo), Vikki Rogers (Institute of International Commercial Law – Pace Law School), Jonathan Rosenthal (MACRO), Colin Rule (Modria), Erika Sasson (Center for Court Innovation), Lara Traum, Esq., Jamie Walter (Maryland Judiciary’s Administrative Office of the Courts), Robyn Weinstein (EDNY), and Daniel Weitz (NYS Unified Court System).

Our DR community also is grappling with major environmental conflicts and the Catholic Church’s role in dealing with them.  On November 2, the Fordham Law Dispute Resolution Society is sponsoring its Annual ADR Symposium, Conflicts and Laudato Si.  It will focus on Pope Francis’s encyclical letter, Laudato Si, and consider how insights from that letter might inform our thinking on how to manage and resolve contemporary conflicts over environmental issues spanning environmental law, ethics, and corporate social responsibility.

In addition to engaging with the work of a major institution that has been influential for two millenia, we deal with technological changes that happen with exponential speed and the integration of technology into conflict engagement practices.  Creighton’s Werner Institute is hosting Cyberweek 2016, from October 31 to November 4.  The conference is the 19th in this series of virtual conferences.  It will feature webinars, discussion forums, and events for students.  The program is still being developed and it will include live webinars that take place daily to engage in discussion around topics such as:

  • The approaches to governance that will strengthen the field of Online Dispute Resolution.
  • The development of ethical principles and standards for Online Dispute Resolution.
  • Online Dispute Resolution and Community Conflict: How can ODR move beyond resolution to reconciliation?
  • The tools available online to successfully carry out an arbitration practice.
  • The use of online peer mediation tools to address issues of bullying.

Of course, I wanted to write about these three events to let people know (or remind them) in case they would like to participate.

More broadly, while these are just a few of the DR events that our schools and organizations are sponsoring at this moment, they are a microcosm of what our field has become.

It is important to celebrate the parts of our glass that are full – even as we also focus on the parts that are empty (or not full yet).

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, at the University of Missouri, School of Law. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an avid writer and contributor to Indisputably.org