This week I gave a talk by skype to EFOI Elayne Greenberg’s Dispute System Design Seminar through St. John’s Hon. Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution. This year-long honors seminar is described as follows.
“The 3L Carey Center Fellows in the seminar use a textbook, and explore real-life examples, that introduce the core elements of dispute system design. They also learn how organizations have successfully implemented these designs, including General Electric’s Six Sigma approach to case management, EBay’s and Kaiser’s dispute resolution systems, and Walmart’s restorative justice program. Redressing campus sexual violence, streamlining the collective bargaining process, and incorporating ODR in existing dispute system designs are just a few of the other topics our students address in this hands-on learning environment.”
“For their final project, the seminar participants design a dispute system to better manage a recurring or emerging systemic legal problem in their chosen area of practice. They present their design to [Dispute Resolution Society] members and to a panel of experts in the field for critique and feedback.”
We had a good discussion about the difficulties of getting stakeholders to be open to changing the status quo, even if they may be somewhat dissatisfied with it. People often prefer the devil they know over the devil they don’t know. I suggested that a key is asking what problems stakeholders perceive and then helping them to solve them.
For more information about the course and the students’ projects, read the Carey Center newsletter.
Elayne invited me to talk about my research on planned early dispute resolution (PEDR). Here’s a brief outline of my talk.
I have written various posts about PEDR, and I think that this outline is particularly useful for the list of concrete steps that lawyers should consider using. Although it may seem counter-intuitive for lawyers to advise clients how they can avoid conflicts and handle them more efficiently, this outline highlights that lawyers can benefit from developing good relationships with clients by helping them develop PEDR systems.
I have done other guest lectures by skype, which is a great, efficient way for DR faculty and practitioners to share our ideas more broadly with students all over the country and the globe.