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CPR Forges “Pathways to Partnership” at 2017 Annual Meeting

Jan Paulsson, Three Crowns and David Seaton, Fluor Corp. presented keynote addresses

New York, March 9, 2017 – The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) held its 2017 Annual Meeting on March 2-4, 2017, at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Miami, Fl., convening almost 200 General Counsel, leading practitioners, noted academics and jurists, and expert international arbitrators and mediators. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Pathways to Partnership,” referring to successful collaboration between in-house counsel, outside counsel and neutrals. 

“We live in challenging times,” CPR President & CEO Noah Hanft explained in his opening remarks. “Rancor, anger and the inability to compromise permeate the news. And that is why CPR’s 40-year-old mission—the driver of our annual meetings, and indeed all our events and initiatives—is more important than ever: to find ways to work together, to compromise, to find win-wins and to arrive upon the most effective ways to prevent and resolve disputes. CPR is proud to be working with some of the world’s top legal and business leaders to accomplish these critically important goals.”

Day One began with an opening keynote address by Jan Paulsson, noted international arbitration scholar and practitioner who has acted as advocate or arbitrator in hundreds of arbitrations in all familiar venues. Paulsson is the immediate past President of the London Court of International Arbitration and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, has served as a Vice-President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and holds the Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair as professor of law at the University of Miami. In his address, Paulsson addressed the need for selection processes that ensure independence. The archived broadcast of this keynote can be found on CPR’s Facebook page at

The first panel “The Rise of the Legal COO” explored the roles of Chief Operating Officers, in companies and in law firms, as clients and counsel incorporate dispute resolution as an increasingly important element of defining value in their relationships. Moderated by Michael Caplan, Goodwin, this panel featured David Allen, MassMutual Financial Group; Lucy Fato, Nardello & Co.; Ronald Prague, Synchronoss; and Thomas J. Sabatino, Jr., Aetna, Inc. 

The next panel, “Dispute Resolution in the Caribbean,” addressed the varying, but potentially soon to be harmonized, civil or common law systems among the nearly two dozen countries that comprise “the Caribbean.” Moderated by Carlos F. Concepción, Jones Day, the panel featured Leidylin Contreras, Directorate of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dominican Republic; Mauricio Gomm Santos, GST LLP; Professor Calvin A. Hamilton, The University of the West Indies; C. Ryan Reetz, Bryan Cave; and Francisco A. Rodriguez, Akerman LLP. 

At lunch on Day One, CPR debuted its new Corporate Counsel Manual for Cross-Border Dispute Resolution, which provides guidance on drafting and managing cross-border negotiations, mediations, expert determinations, dispute boards and international commercial and investment arbitrations. 

The afternoon of Day One began with “Court Ordered Mediation in Practice – The Florida Model,” taking advantage of Florida's leading role in developing highly-effective court annexed mediation to enable a robust discussion of what works and why. Moderated by Sharon Press, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, the panel featured Lawrence Watson Jr., Upchurch Watson White & Max; Jay P. Cohen, Court of Appeals Florida Fifth District; Judith M. Korchin, Holland & Knight; and Deborah B. Mastin, Law Office of Deborah Mastin, P.A.. 

The next panel, “Facilitating Settlements: Does the Arbitrator Have a Role,” turned to methods of enabling settlements in arbitral proceedings while maintaining arbitrator independence and impartiality. Moderated by John J. Buckley, Jr., Williams & Connolly, the panel  featured Catherine Amirfar, Debevoise & Plimpton; Tai-Heng Cheng, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP; Daniel E. González, Hogan Lovells; Hansjörg Stutzer, Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte; and Javier Fernández-Samaniego, Samaniego Law. 

The day’s final panel, “Preventative Lawyering: Lessons Learned from the Construction Industry,” addressed the many dispute resolution techniques of which the construction industry has been a successful early adopter, which can serve as a model for other industries. Co-moderated by Jennifer Wheatley Fletcher, Eversheds Sutherland and Sarah B. Biser, Fox Rothschild LLP, the panel featured Deborah B. Mastin, Law Office of Deborah Mastin, P.A.; Scott S. Partridge, Monsanto Company; and Richard H. Lowe, Duane Morris LLP. 

Day One concluded with our second annual Inspiring Innovation Award Dinner, honoring ConocoPhillips and Laura Robertson, Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Arbitration, for their innovative ADR thinking and excellence in execution. 

Day Two began with a keynote address by David Seaton, Chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation, one of the world’s leading and largest engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services companies. Seaton discussed the importance of setting the right tone at the top to foster a corporate culture focused on dispute prevention and resolution.  The archived broadcast of this keynote can be found on CPR’s Facebook page at

On the morning of Day Two, we launched highly interactive Breakout Sessions, including:

  • An IP panel addressing the impact of changes in the law, judicial decisions and BREXIT on IP disputes around the world—moderated by John D. Murnane, Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, this panel featured David W. Highet, Becton Dickinson and Company; Sandra K. Nowak, 3M Company; and Reza Green, Novo Nordisk A/S.
  • A Y-ADR Skills Training Session, addressing witness cross-examination in arbitration—moderated by Dana C. MacGrath, Sidley Austin LLP, this panel featured Brian King, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Vanessa Alarcon-Duvanel, White & Case LLP; C.J. Mahoney, Williams & Connolly; Lucy Greenwood, GreenwoodArbitration; Stephen L. Drymer, Woods LLP; and Alberto F. Ravell, ConocoPhillips.
  • A panel on “The Potential and Promise of Online Dispute Resolution”—moderated by Vikki M. Rogers, Institute of International Commercial Law, Pace University, School of Law, this panel featured James South, CEDR; Larry W. Bridgesmith, Vanderbilt University, School of Law; and Loïc E. Coutelier, Modria. 

At a luncheon ceremony, CPR announced the winners of its 34th Annual Academic Awards, focused on processes, techniques, systems, commitment and scholarship, addressing the resolution, prevention or creative management of major disputes. CPR also awarded its inaugural Y-ADR Annual Writing Award for Efficient & Effective Collaboration Between Corporate Counsel and Outside Counsel

Our panels then resumed, with “Arbitration: Procedural Fairness v. Efficiency,” exploring the tension between reducing delay and expense – a hallmark of arbitral “best practice” – and assuring a fair process. Moderated by Lawrence S. Schaner, Jenner & Block LLP, the panel featured C. Mark Baker, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP; Maria Chedid, Baker McKenzie; Mary Beth Cantrell, Amgen, Inc.; Adolfo E. Jimenez, Holland & Knight LLP; and Michelle T. Visiedo, American Express. 

Day two concluded with two CPR perennial favorites. First, we hosted CPR's Business Roundtable, during which leading General Counsel from around the world addressed strategic issues they face as they implement a thoughtful approach to dispute resolution. Moderated by Mitchell J. Auslander, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, this panel featured Kelly Mahon Tullier, Visa, Inc.; Bart R. Schwartz, Assurant, Inc.; Sara E. Moss, Estée Lauder; and Carlos M. Hernandez, Fluor Corporation. 

Finally, the ever-dynamic and interactive Ethics Panel explored issues involved in balancing arbitral efficiency and fairness, with a specific focus on arbitrator conflicts of interest, developments in disclosure obligations of arbitrators and disclosure obligations of counsel. Moderated by Gregory Gallopoulos, General Dynamics Corporation, the panel featured John M. Barkett, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP; Sarah Rudolph Cole, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; and Richard F. Ziegler, Jenner & Block LLP. 

Photographs of the CPR’s annual meeting can be viewed and downloaded HERE.

 About CPR:

CPR is an independent nonprofit organization that, for more than 35 years, has helped global businesses prevent and resolve commercial disputes effectively and efficiently. Our membership consists of top corporations and law firms, academic and government institutions, and leading mediators and arbitrators around the world. CPR is unique as: (1) a thought leader, driving a global dispute resolution culture; (2) a developer of cutting-edge tools and resources, powered by the collective innovation of its membership; and (3) an ADR provider offering innovative, practical arbitration rules, mediation and other dispute resolution procedures, and neutrals worldwide. For more information, please visit


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