Wednesday, March 31, 2021

What's Up at Division 1 (No. 9)

It's Springtime and Division 1 is hard at work on a number of programs and ventures which I will highlight in this month's post.  

We had a great toolbox talk series program this month on opening statements in mediation.  The discussion was led by John Bulman and Patricia Thompson. Lexie Pereira did a great job moderating.  Takeaways included:
  • Do an opening statement.  It is your opportunity to speak with the adverse party.  You can demonstrate your knowledge and control of the facts/law of the case.  In other words, you can demonstrate you are trial ready.  
  • Keep it professional.  Opening statements should be concise, factual, and presented in a direct (non-confrontational) manner.  You do not want to shut down the decision-maker on the other side.  
  • Work with the Mediator in advance.  Pre-mediation conference calls with the client is essential.  Listen to the mediator regarding the topics to cover during the mediation open statement and joint session.  Customize your presentation using the expertise and perspective of your mediator.   
  • Sometimes it doesn't work.  For meditations post-trial, where there are personality conflicts that cannot be avoided, and/or where private, personal information is part of the dispute, a joint session opening statement may not be appropriate. 
I am excited to announce the topic of our April TTS.  It is 

Virtual Testimony from the Arbitrator’s Perspective
April 22, 2021 | 12-12:30PM ET

Our discussion leaders for the April TTS are Bill Franczek, Vandeventer Black, LLP and Gill Freeman, JAMS. I know many of you know Bill.  He was a former D1 steering committee member before he was asked to serve as D13's first Chair.  He served on the GC and as the Chair of the Forum's Division Chairs Committee.  Bill is a long time AAA arbitrator and active litigator/advocate.  Gill is a retired civil trial judge and the first judge of the complex commercial/construction litigation court in Miami.  He is a veteran JAMS arbitrator and newly minted D1 member! Be on the lookout for the registration flyer for this excellent program!

On March 24th, we also had our Napa Valley Wine Class.  It was a great 90 minute session about wine making with a focus on Napa Valley wines.  BRG sponsored the event for Division 1.  We all shared what we were drinking afterwards and discussed a second wine tasting event over the next couple of months.  Below are some screenshots from the event:

We had a ton of fun on the event.  Thanks George Fink and BRG!

Today, on March 31st, we are holding a meeting about Return on Investment for Construction Claims. The program will focus on quantitative methods to evaluate whether prosecuting (or defending) a construction claim makes sense.  Thanks to our excellent panelists (see below) and the ABA team for helping us to promote this program. This program came out of D1's Programs/Concepts committee led by Joe Imperiale.  

The Dispute Resolver is doing a great job with new, current, and helpful posts.  Please provide a submission about a recent case or issue your resolved.  In the Forum's newsletter, Under Construction, Division 1 featured two articles in D1's Dispute Resolver column:
  • The Lost Art of Vouching-In by Mike Hornreich
  • Avoiding Construction Disputes: The Two Golden Rules of Leadership by Chase Callaway
Writing and getting published is a great way to obtain value out of your Forum/D1 membership in 2021!  If you want to discuss opportunities further, please contact me.  

Happy Spring Everyone!  

Tom Dunn (
Division 1 Chair

No comments:

Post a Comment