Tis the season of the US News tournament, when our mailboxes fill with literature touting the achievements of law schools far and wide.  Most of us think that this “game” is seriously flawed and wish our schools didn’t have play the game, but we generally feel compelled to do so because of the significant consequences.

At the same time, I really appreciate hearing about the exciting things that our DR colleagues are doing in our various programs around the country.  I feel encouraged to see that our community remains vital and is a source of continuing innovation in the legal academy, which I don’t take for granted.

You may have received Missouri’s contribution to the US News-aganza in the mail or on the DRLE listserv.   In case not, here’s a link to a webpage with a booklet describing scholarship of some of my colleagues.  Of course, we want you to feel impressed by our work.

In addition, we designed this booklet – and last year’s booklet on teaching methods, which is available on the same page – with the hope that it provides material you will find valuable.  The articles are long enough to have some substance but are short enough – 2-6 pages – that you might actually take the time to read them, rather than adding them to the pile of things you want to read but never quite get to.

I am writing this post to briefly describe the articles and authors. You may know some of my colleagues from their scholarship and/or encounters at DR events, but I especially want to say a few a words about some who you probably don’t know.  The booklet starts with a piece of mine on negotiation theory, which I previously blogged about, so I will not say more about it now.

S.I. Strong’s Article on Empirical Research About International Commercial DR

To say that S.I. Strong is prolific is a gross understatement.  I have learned that she has an army of clones who  do all her writing so that she can host English-inspired “at homes” in her office to entertain one and all at school.  Her article in the booklet describes the genesis and results of her empirical studies about international commercial dispute resolution.  This is particularly exciting because they may influence DR policy.

Carli Conklin’s Article on the Use of Legal History in Modern Arbitration Jurisprudence

Carli Conklin is one of the sweetest and most enthusiastic people you will ever meet.  She has a Ph.D in history from Virginia, along with a JD.  She is extremely knowledgeable about arbitration in the colonial and antebellum eras.  Her article analyzes a recent Delaware case and she shows that the Third Circuit’s analysis about the history of arbitration – a key issue in the case – missed several important dynamics that might have changed the decision.

The next two articles reflect the widespread aspiration of integrating DR and traditional doctrinal subjects.

Bob Jerry’s Article on the Role of DR in Insurance

Bob Jerry just rejoined our faculty after a 12-year hiatus at Florida, where he was dean for most of that period.  He is a pre-eminent insurance law scholar who returned to Missouri to join our DR Center and develop an initiative on the role of DR in insurance.  I haven’t heard about any work about the intersection of these two areas, which is surprising considering that DR is a central part of the insurance business.  Bob’s article identifies “points of convergence” involving DR and appraisal and property insurance; arbitration, insurance, and reinsurance; mass disasters; and health insurance.

Dennis Crouch’s Article on the Overlap of IP, Entrepreneurship, and DR

I bet you don’t have a rock star in the office across the hall like I do. Dennis Crouch is a rock star in the intellectual property world due to his wildly-popular Patently-O blog, which is a must-read for scholars and practitioners alike.  He is a former Peace Corps volunteer with an engineering degree and IP litigation experience who looks like he just came from Silicon Valley.  Dennis’s article describes his work on arbitration of patent disputes, modeling patent prosecution as negotiation, and facilitating a market for patent rights.

Bob Bailey, Gil Vernon, and Rafael Gely’s Article on the Media’s Portrayal of Arbitration

Bob Bailey is a long-time labor arbitrator who is deeply involved in many organizations at the local, state, and national levels.  He usually works behind the scenes to get things done without getting the credit.  He directed our DR Center for many years and is beloved at our law school.  Rafael Gely, who specializes in labor and employment law, is in his second year as director of our Center.  He is a remarkably effective (and modest) administrator and consensus builder who I expect will lead our Center to produce increasingly valuable contributions to our field.  Gil Vernon, past president of the National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA), is not on our faculty.

Their article is based on a website being developed by our Center and the NAA, which is collecting media portrayals of arbitration.  Their analysis considers the media, reporters, nature of the proceedings, and the nature and saliency of the disputes.  They found that arbitration is more likely to be covered in newspapers than broadcast media, be written by reporters who are not experts in the subject or arbitration, and not be covered much because of the private nature of arbitration.  They are still developing the website, which should be made available to the public next year.

Not all the members of our Center contributed to this booklet.  Some who were not featured in our scholarship booklet wrote articles for our teaching booklet.  And I am glad to report that a steady flow of colleagues who have specialized in areas other than traditional DR have seen the value of DR in their work and joined our Center.  This, along with Rafael’s leadership, makes me hopeful about Missouri’s long-term contributions to our community.  As Rafael has emphasized, we welcome opportunities to collaborate with scholars, practitioners, and organizations when there is a good fit of interests and resources.

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