Letter from CPR President & CEO, Allen Waxman

Less Conflict. More Purpose.

To the CPR Community:

As I write to you on the eve of a new fall season, I am struck by the unfortunate déjà vu the pandemic poses. Like last year, there is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding where the end is or even whether there is an end or just a new destination. As always, we hope you and yours remain well, and we remain available to assist in any way we can during these difficult times.   

Given all of this uncertainty, it is more important than ever to put thought leaders together to devise effective solutions to new challenges. And, we have a full schedule of committee meetings and special events this fall designed to do so. These include the first-ever joint CPR International Conference sponsored by each of our three international advisory boards – Europe, Brazil, and Canada. The programming will be as diverse as our sponsors. We look forward to seeing you there (at this remote event). 

We also have exciting meetings over the next several weeks of the Arbitration Committee, the Diversity & ADR Task Force, the Insurance Committee, and the Dispute Prevention Committee. Each of these sessions is dedicated to finding ways to better manage disputes and to better deploy all of the talent available in doing so

In other news, this summer we launched a new Technology Advisory Committee (TAC), which will continue meeting this fall, with a broad remit for exploring both how technology can facilitate dispute management and create disputes. The TAC will help us navigate these opportunities and challenges.  Please join us for these sessions.

We recently convened a new, very dynamic Steering Committee of our Young Leaders in Alternative Dispute Resolution (Y-ADR) program. This group of diverse leaders from industry, law firms and neutrals were selected in a competitive application process based, in part, on projects proposed for building capacity in dispute management. We will all benefit from their leadership.  

Our members continue to generate the kind of work product that will be useful in managing disputes.  These projects include:

  • An update to the oft-cited Annotated Model Procedural Order for Remote Video Arbitration Proceedings Rule to consider and incorporate experience with remote proceedings over the last year and to continue to provide guidance on how to conduct those remote proceedings in a fair fashion.
  • An update to the Protocol on Disclosure of Documents and Presentation of Witnesses in Commercial Arbitration to integrate current practices for document management.
  • An exploration by in-house and outside counsel of the use of a process facilitator when a dispute arises to design the most effective dispute resolution process.
  • The development of a diversity of dispute prevention mechanisms to enable the early identification of conflict and steps to prevent the conflict from turning into a value depleting dispute.
  • The review and development of practices and procedures for Dispute Resolution Boards.
  • The convening of in-house and outside counsel to examine the provisions of a typical life sciences licensing transaction with the objective of sharing best practices to optimize the value of the license and relationship.
  • The publication of CPR’s first set of Employment Arbitration Rules and an update to CPR’s innovative Employment-Related Mass Claims Protocol, as CPR continues to invest in helping resolve disputes in this critical area.


There are few places where companies, law firms, neutrals, academics, and practitioners from across the aisle can convene and focus on how to prevent and resolve disputes more efficiently and effectively.  Yet, with your support, that is just what we are doing with these task forces. 

This work is especially critical during this pandemic. Courts closed but disputes did not disappear. In fact, the pandemic led to more disputes than ever before, and new types of disputes developed, which is not surprising given the once-in-a-lifetime disruptions to economic activity the pandemic caused. And, the backlogs in the courts are likely to be with us for some time, as many courts are forced to prioritize criminal cases over civil cases as they resume in-person proceedings.

That is why we continue to encourage parties to explore the use of our Dispute Management services, including our Dispute Prevention Panel and the use of our administered services for arbitration, including fast track proceedings, as well as our mediation offerings. And, do not overlook the option for submitting your dispute for ADR administration at the time it arises even if you had not previously agreed to do so. These are important alternatives to enable you to avoid or resolve your disputes and get back to business. Please reach out to Mia Levi (mlevi@cpradr.org) of our dispute management team for help in doing so.

Finally, as a way of supporting our mission, please consider our Pledges. Our Dispute Prevention Pledge for Business Relationships is a key to bringing awareness to the possibility of warding off disputes and better preserving relationships, conserving resources, and executing against purpose uninterrupted.  Please also review our CPR Diversity Commitment, which encourages specific steps to increase the selection of diverse neutrals. Thank you to those who have signed on; to others, please join in.

We are so grateful to our ever-expanding table of incredible members and volunteers who share their knowledge and experience with us, knowing that it will benefit many people and organizations in managing conflict to enable purpose.


With warmest regards,

Allen Waxman
President & CEO