Thu, Oct 5, 2006 -- CPR Institute Announces National Task Force on Diversity in ADR

The CPR Institute has convened a National Task Force on Diversity in ADR. The mission of the Task Force will be to adopt businessdriven initiatives to increase the ethnic, gender, and social diversity of mediators, arbitrators, and those involved in alternative dispute resolution, both within CPR institute and on a national scale.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Carla Herron, Group Counsel – Litigation of The Shell Group; Charles R. Morgan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of On Site EDiscovery, and Thomas L. Sager, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

CPR created the Task Force out of a concern for the lack of diversity among the most prominent neutrals. Corporate managers charged with resolving complex and sophisticated disputes are too often presented with a pool dominated by older white men. A diverse group of perspectives and a facilitator who is aware of that range of perspectives is critical to any resolution process that seeks creativity and a wide scope of possible values and solutions – particularly where cross-cultural or cross-lingual issues are involved. More diversity in the neutral pool means more options being generated, more creativity in the resolution process, and an assurance that all disputants and representatives perceive themselves as enfranchised and welcomed in the process.

In addition to the three co-Chairs, the CPR Task Force includes general counsel and other senior legal representatives of ExxonMobil Corporation, FedEx Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth Corporation, International Monetary Fund, RARE Hospitality International Inc., Cardinal Health, Inc., Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Marriott International, Inc., Pitney Bowes Incorporated, UPS, Citigroup Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, ITT Corporation, and Schering-Plough Corporation.

The CPR Task Force also includes several leading practitioners in private practice, including former federal judges, former presidents of the American Bar Association, and several nationally-known arbitrators and mediators.

“We hope that this initiative will result in real change,” said Kathy Bryan, President and CEO of CPR Institute. “Corporate America today demands diversity from all of its vendors and service providers. They understand the need to be able to call upon diverse professionals in a business imperative. The need is nowhere more urgent than in the dispute resolution field.”

Task Force Co-Chair Charles Morgan agreed. “This group intends to provoke real change. The diversity drive in the legal profession is sometimes confused with being ‘politically correct.’ It is time to remind everyone that this is a business-driven initiative with an eye on getting the work done that our shareholders have entrusted us to do.”

Download a PDF of this Press Release here