Public Policy

Our mission is to encourage policymakers and practitioners in the United States and abroad to foster the adoption of dispute resolution in the public sector, academia, and in legal practice and to improve the way business conflict is addressed.

Our Public Policy Projects focus on the following areas:

 

CPR Academic Project

CPR is committed to communicating the best and most innovative dispute resolution ideas and theories from academic leadership to the CPR membership of corporate general counsel, partners in leading law firms, judges, and public sector leaders.

Objectives:

  • Bridge the perceived divide between theory and practice
  • Build the best of dispute resolution theory into the mainstream of law practice and dispute resolution design
  • Ensure that theorists and researchers understand the realities of real-world problem-solving

This dialogue has particular importance at this time, as more and larger private and public dispute resolution systems are being developed to handle growing segments of legal, business, environmental, and public disputes.

Academic Contributions: Under the CPR Academic Project, legal educators are routinely involved on CPR Committees, with CPR projects, and in meetings of CPR’s various industry practice groups. Academics contribute to the revisions of CPR publications and rules and serve as faculty at CPR meetings and trainings.

Law Student Intern Program: As part of its academic project, CPR has a Law Student Intern Program, which draws students from a variety of law schools from the United States and abroad. Under the mentoring of CPR senior staff, the students assist in cutting-edge projects and publications. Recent projects have included researching and drafting articles and blog posts on important dispute resolution developments, such as ethical issues in mediation, mediation confidentiality, mandatory arbitration and class action waivers and covering U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit court opinions, proposed federal and state legislation and breaking dispute resolution news developments; attending oral arguments on dispute resolution issues of importance and drafting news articles reporting on the arguments; observing arbitrations and mediations and attending CPR Committee meetings. CPR’s interns developed ADR 101, a section on the website that provides basic dispute resolution information for in-house counsel and other CPR members.

CPR Diversity Initiatives

CPR is committed to encouraging all forms of diversity and inclusion in dispute resolution, in particular increasing the participation of women and people of color in mediation, arbitration and other dispute resolution processes – especially by increasing the number of diverse neutrals selected to mediate or arbitrate disputes as well as increasing the opportunities for diverse attorneys appearing before neutrals.

CPR’s Diversity in ADR Task Force: Chaired by the Hon. Timothy K. Lewis (Ret.) of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis LLP and the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin (Ret.) of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP,  CPR’s Diversity in ADR Task Force has developed a corporate commitment to diversity, an ADR mentoring program, in collaboration with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity(“LCLD”) and FINRA, and an apprentice program designed to further diversity among neutrals chosen to mediate or arbitrate by large corporations.

CPR’s “Young Lawyer Rule”: CPR is helping to promote the diversity of lawyers appearing before arbitral tribunals through the adoption of a “Young Lawyer” Rule into its domestic and international arbitration rules. The Rule aims to increase the number of “stand-up” opportunities for young attorneys -- who are often women and people of color -- to examine witnesses and present argument at arbitral hearings.  To date, the Rule has been incorporated in the 2018 CPR Non-Administered Rules for International Disputes and the 2018 CPR Non-Administered Arbitration Rules, both effective March 1, 2018.  CPR anticipates that the Rule will be included in the CPR Rules for Administered Arbitration of International Disputes and the CPR Administered Arbitration Rules at their next respective revisions. CPR’s “Young Lawyer Rule” was nominated for the GAR Award for Innovation.

CPR’s Diversity & Inclusion Statement: CPR had added to its neutral nomination letter a diversity and inclusion statement, which encourages parties to consider the benefits of diversity on the quality of decision-making and the role of implicit bias at the time they are selecting neutrals.

CPR Community Outreach: CPR staff regularly educate the community about how to drive diversity -- instead of just paying lip service to it -- through articles, lecturing and serving as leaders on diversity committees in the dispute resolution community  One such example is “Making Diversity Happen in ADR: No More Lip Service”, an article by CPR’s President and CEO, Noah Hanft, which was published in the New York Law Journal.

CPR Education and Legislative Advocacy

CPR engages in legislative advocacy as necessary to educate federal and state lawmakers about legal issues relating to business-to-business domestic and international arbitration, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.  CPR submitted comments on proposed amendments to New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) that raised concerns about the potential negative impact the proposed amendments, such as those that seek to codify “manifest disregard of the law” as a ground to vacate an arbitration award, would have on New York’s pro-arbitration reputation.

Fortune 1000 ADR Survey

In conjunction with Cornell University’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, CPR co-sponsored a follow-up survey of Fortune 1000 companies regarding their use of ADR. The original survey, “The Appropriate Resolution of Corporate Disputes:  A Report on the Growing Use of ADR by U.S. Corporations,” was distributed a decade ago by Cornell. The follow-up will explore current ADR use by the Fortune 1000 and identify changes in practices that these companies have introduced in recent years. The results were released in 2012 at CPR’s Annual Meeting.

CPR Judicial Project

Since its inception in 1985, the CPR Judicial Project has assisted the judiciary, policymakers, and counsel to make sound decisions concerning ADR and the public justice system in the United States and internationally.  Judges are invited to contribute their expertise to CPR Committees and events. As part of the Judicial Project, CPR participates in the annual Mediation Settlement Day for the New York State Courts and runs ADR training programs for court mediators.

Commission on Facilities for the Resolution of Mass Claims

CPR’s Commission on Facilities for the Resolution of Mass Claims is chaired by Kenneth R. Feinberg of Feinberg Rozen LLP, and Deborah E. Greenspan of Blank Rome LLP, serves as Reporter. Assisted by counsel, academics, neutrals, and experts on complex claims management, they draw upon their rich and varied experience to develop meaningful guidelines for managing and resolving mass claims of different kinds.  Their most recent product was the Master Guide to Mass Claims Resolution Facilities (2011).  In addition, in 2012 the Commission worked on a proposal that would provide an ADR solution to the backlog of Veteran's Administration claims.

CPR International Project

CPR regularly hosts delegations from countries and institutions seeking to establish new ADR programs. The following is a selection of delegates.

Italian Delegation
In September 2018, CPR hosted a delegation of Italian legal professionals as part of the Fordham Law School and Amerigo Association program in U.S. Business Law to discuss CPR’s international think tank work and dispute resolution services.

South Korean Delegation
In December 2017, a group of managers from the largest electric utility company in South Korea visited CPR to discuss the applicability of dispute resolution boards and commercial mediation to community mediation efforts.

Indian ADR Fellows and Judicial Delegation
In October 2017, CPR welcomed a delegation of Indian dispute resolution fellows, including a former judge, to discuss how mediation is utilized in the U.S. and how to increase the use of mediation in India.

Chinese Delegation
In September 2018, CPR spoke to a delegation of Chinese legal professionals and judges about CPR’s dispute resolution services, international initiatives, rules and model clauses as part of the International Law Institute’s China Law Society Arbitration and Mediation Program.

In September 2017, CPR hosted a delegation of Chinese government and nonprofit officials from the Shenzhen District to discuss cybersecurity and U.S. online dispute resolution. 

Brazilian Judges Delegation
In October 2014, CPR hosted a delegation of visiting professors, mediators and counsel from the Fortaleza region of Brazil.

In May 2013, CPR welcomed a delegation of Brazilian judges interested in learning about CPR and the interaction between private dispute resolution and public litigation.

Kosovo Delegation
In September 2012, CPR hosted a delegation of the ADR Center of the American Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo.

The Korea Fair Trade Mediation Agency
In December 2011, a group of delegates from the Korean Fair Trade Mediation Agency visited CPR to gain more knowledge of both CPR and dispute resolution.

US-China Exchange Council, China State Council, Office of Legislative Affairs Delegation
In October 2011, CPR hosted a delegation from the US China Exchange Council at CPR’s New York offices.

Eastern European Delegation
In August 2011, CPR hosted a State Department delegation from former Soviet bloc nations on under the auspices of CPR’s Public Policy mission. The representatives of Armenia, Moldavia and other nations looked to CPR for an introduction to the field of commercial arbitration in the U.S.

Russian Delegation
In July 2010, CPR hosted a delegation of Russian academic and business leaders who were studying dispute resolution usage in the U.S.

Croatia Mediation Assistance Project
CPR spearheaded the provision of training, consultation, written instruction materials, and other resources on how to design, implement, and operate nationally indigenous Croatian commercial mediation centers.

Public Policy Issues Covered by CPR

CPR presents educational programs and publishes articles in Alternatives and on its blog, CPR Speaks, about public policy issues of interest to the dispute resolution community.  Recent such topics include mandatory arbitration and class action waivers, mediation confidentiality, alternative fee arrangements, and third-party litigation funding.

CPR Amicus Curiae Brief Requests

CPR receives and reviews requests to submit amicus curiae briefs before the federal and state courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. 

CPR Engagement with Global Dispute Resolution Community

CPR engages with the global dispute resolution community, teaching how lessons about how to prevent and resolve conflict learned in the corporate setting can be applied in other contexts to help resolve other types of intractable disputes, including those that involve ethnic and religious humanitarian conflict.  In the fall of 2017, CPR’s President and CEO, Noah Hanft, presented on “A Choice Between Mediation and Madness” at The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy and on “Living Together in Peace and Harmony” at the Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict and Resolution.  Mr. Hanft authored “The Applicability of Corporate Dispute Resolution Principles to World Conflicts”, which was published in the New York Law Journal.