The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Inc. (“CPR”) is an educational not-for-profit that manages conflict to enable purpose. CPR comprises two divisions, the CPR Institute and CPR Dispute Resolution (DRS).
The CPR Institute drives a global prevention and dispute resolution culture through the thought leadership of its diverse member companies, leading mediators and arbitrators, law firms, individual practitioners, and academics. It convenes Committees to share best practices and develop innovative tools. It connects thought leaders through global, regional, and smaller events. It publishes a monthly journal on related topics and advocates for expanding the capacity for dispute prevention and resolution globally through a variety of initiatives.
DRS provides leading edge dispute management services – mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, dispute review boards and others -- as well as training and education. It is uniquely positioned to resolve disputes by leveraging the resources generated by the leaders who participate in the CPR Institute. It has deep experience in dispute management, a deep bench on its global Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, and deep expertise across a variety of subject areas.
In handling certain employment arbitration matters, DRS will administer the matter only if certain protections are in place for the claimant. Please see these Due Process Protections. See also, generally, Employment Disputes. At this time, CPR does not otherwise administer consumer cases. For purposes of compliance with state requirements, such as the California Code of Civil Procedure §1281.85, et. seq., and Standard 8 of the California Rules of Court, Ethics Standards for Neutrals, CPR makes the following institutional disclosures:
Relationships Between CPR and Parties or Law Firms
CPR does not have a financial interest in any party or law firm. Parties or law firms do not have a financial interest in CPR. They may be members of CPR. Members participate in the thought leadership of the CPR Institute through committee and task force participation, contributions to publications and event programming, and the sharing of best practices on dispute management. From time to time, non-members are invited to participate in some of these activities. Members and others provide funding for CPR through membership dues, registration fees and sponsorships for events, like the Corporate Leadership Award Dinner or the CPR Annual Meeting.
A list of the CPR Institute members may be accessed at Membership List. A list of Major Donors to CPR may be accessed at CPR's Major Donors. A list of the members of CPR’s Board of Directors may be accessed at Board.
In order to separate the fundraising activities of CPR and the case management activities of DRS, and pursuant to the DRS Operating Principles, the DRS staff handling case matters is not permitted to solicit members or donations for CPR, and no one other than the DRS staff may engage in case management matters.
Relationships Between CPR and its Neutrals
CPR supports a Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, from which arbitrators, mediators and other dispute management professionals are selected to help parties prevent and resolve disputes. Admission to the Panel is a selective process, with those interested in joining completing an application or, in certain circumstances, simply sending a resume and providing references to DRS. In evaluating applications to join its Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, DRS considers candidates’ education, experience with commercial or consumer matters, ADR training, ADR experience, and references. From time to time, DRS will convene review committees comprising CPR Institute members with experience in ADR matters and Neutrals to review the applications to help DRS evaluate the substantive experience of candidates in a given field. DRS strives for geographic and other diversity in the roster of the Panel. All CPR Neutrals are expected to meet certain training requirements, and to maintain the highest ethical standards as set out by the governing ethical codes and rules. See generally, Become a Neutral.
The Neutrals, when selected for a matter, are independent contractors. They have no ownership interest in CPR, a not-for-profit organization, and receive no funding from CPR. The Neutrals located in the US pay an annual Neutral Administrative Fee based on the number of Panels on which they are listed, as well as 5% of fees earned on CPR matters to which they are selected. Many of the Neutrals also elect to participate and contribute donations as members in the activities and offerings of the CPR Institute, described above. See generally, Who are CPR Neutrals.
Selection of Neutrals for a Matter
CPR follows the parties’ contract provisions and the governing CPR rules with respect to the selection of Neutrals for a specific matter, but ordinarily the vetting/selection process sequence below is followed:
- Profiling – DRS works with counsel for parties to develop a detailed profile of the qualifications and experience of the Neutrals needed. This due diligence also includes a discussion of the complexity and issues involved in the dispute and the potential for resolution. At this time, parties agree on a venue and a time period for hearing the matter (if not already confirmed). Parties can also agree on special queries to be made to the candidates.
- Identification – DRS searches its database, including a thorough review of the Neutrals’ substantive and procedural qualifications, to identify Neutrals who best meet the parties’ desired requirements. DRS strives to ensure that at least 30% of the candidates on a slate are diverse (women, persons of color, members of the LGBTQ community, persons living with disabilities, or other under-represented groups).
- Query – DRS prepares a list of potential Neutrals and queries them to determine their availability and willingness to serve, as well as to identify any potential conflicts. Any special queries are made at this time.
- Nomination – Based on the responses received to its neutrals query, DRS provides parties with a list of candidates who are conflict-free and available for the hearing calendar window that the parties prefer. The list is submitted together with biographical information, hourly rates, any disclosures, and responses to special queries.
- Ranking – Absent party agreement to a different process, if parties are unable to agree on a Neutral from the list, they rank their preferences, and DRS selects the nominee with the highest combined ranking.
- Selection – DRS notifies the selected panelist, who contacts counsel directly to begin the dispute resolution process. The Neutral assumes responsibility for both directing and administering the ADR proceedings.
- Assistance – DRS remains available to address later arising challenges.
As part of the above process, parties are asked to identify individuals and entities with respect to whom disclosures should be made. This “conflicts list” is then sent to the neutral candidates and relied upon by them as well as by CPR in making necessary disclosures.
Challenges to CPR Neutrals
When a challenge to an arbitrator is made, DRS follows the governing CPR rules and the CPR Challenge Protocol. Notwithstanding section 2.b. of the Protocol, all challenges are currently referred to a Challenge Review Committee.