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Briefs Art disputes; ADR in HR.

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CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution
132 Alternatives
Vol. 15, No. 9
October 1997
Briefs: Art Disputes; ADR in HR
Not Just Dilettantes:
Art World ADR
Artists may not like the fact that auction houses and collectors fight over
their sculptures and paintings. But art,
after all, is a lucrative business to many
people. It now looks like it is a business that is ready for alternative dispute resolution.
Later this month in Geneva, Switzerland, a conference will examine applying ADR to international art-related
disputes. On Oct. 17,the Geneva-based
Art-Law Centre, assisted by University
of Geneva law professors, will hold its
first “Symposiumon Resolution Methods for Art-Related Disputes.”
The materials for the conference
hypothesize that art disputes are well
suited to ADR. The conference will
cover contractual disputes, copyright
issues, and the application of arbitration and mediation in the field. A pre-
liminary schedule includes 10 ADRrelated topics presented by U S . and
European attorneys.
Litigation over works of art isn’t limited to a handful of eccentric collecting dilettantes. Indeed, confidentiality
is a key ADR issue for the participants
expected at the conference, says
Quentin Byrne-Sutton,a co-director of
the Art-Law Centre. But he also says
that a lot of art litigation involves more
complicated business issues. Often,
estates claim that art that they own is
being illegally stolen and exploited
abroad. Artwork also is the subject of
several international treaties.
The international aspects of issues
involvingcontracts,taxes, and licensing,
explains Byrne-Sutton,makes a neutral
forum a potentially better place to resolve disputes than a local court.
Indicative of the business orientation of art legal issues, Byrne-Sutton
says that representatives of the big auction houses will be at the conference.
Besides art market professionals,
Byrne-Sutton said that the center’s
goal is to bring together lawyers who
concentrate in art law with experienced ADR attorneys, particularly
those who do mediation, because it is
not as well known in Europe as in
North America.
Byrne-Sutton says that the symposium will be the first international look
at art ADR-which means that there
are “no preconceived ideas.” He says
that “there is very little information
about how ADR has gone on in this
field.” The bottom line, says ByrneSutton, who is a partner in the Geneva
law firm of Byrne-Sutton Renold &
Bonnard, is that “there are more and
more lawyers and more and more litigation” involving works of art.
The Art-Law Centre is an eight-yearold, nonprofit organization that researches and archives art law subjects,
sponsors seminars and publishes books
on art world legal subjects. For more
information about the conference,
which will be conducted and simultaneously translated in French and English, contact the center at 120b rue de
Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland;
telephone 01 1-4122-731-11-61,and fax
01 1-4122-731-12-61.
i
Attorneys’ Views of
Discovery Problems
A survey of attorneys released last
month shows that discovery is expensive and full of problems-but attorneys
seem to accept that as normal.
A study of 1,178 attorneys responding to a survey on discovery issues by
the Washington D.C.-based Federal
Judicial Center, the federal judiciary’s
research arm, found that 48% of those
participating in a discovery process
during their case had problems. The
largest of the problem areas was document production.
The center, at the request of the Judicial Conference’s civil rules advisory
(continued on following page)
134 Alternatives
CPR Institute for DisDute Resolution
Vol. 15. No. 9
October 1997
How to Assess Mediator Training Courses
CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution
is asked frequently by its corporate and
law firm members, CPR Panelists and
other lawyers to identify courses in mediator training. Many organizations
offer basic and advanced mediator
training for attorneys, including state
and local bar associations and court
ADR programs.
The following 10 questions will help
your organization assess a particular
course or workshop and also help determine whether a program meets
your needs.
1. When, where and how frequently
is the course offered? How long is
the course?
Intensive courses usually require a minimum of 16 hours; some extend over 4 or
5 days.
2. What is the cost? Do any discounts apply?
I n mid-1 997, U.S. courses generally
3. How is the course structured?
Ask about program percentages: lecture
is
% of theprogram; demonstration of technique,
%; and roleplays and individualized feedback from
%. Effective mediator
trainers,
training requires that about 50 % of the
program be devoted to role-play participation and individual feedback from
skilled trainers.
4. What size is the class?
For role-play training, you will want n
maximum ratio of eight-to-12 participants to one trainer.
5. Is the course introductory or advanced? What are the prerequisites
for admission and what topics will
be covered?
Advanced courses typically focus on mediation in specialized areas of law, on
various mediator styles and tpchniques,
and/or on refinement of mediator skills.
range from $700 - $1 900 per person,
depending on length; the figure doesn’t
include travel and lodgng.
6. Will the course and the role-plays
focus on business disputes?
Commercial cases will provide the most
wlevant focus.
Briefs
survey by the Society of Human Resource Management and labor law
firm Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler &
Krupman, 57% said their organization had been named as a defendant
in at least one employment-related
suit in the past five years. Another
23% said individuals at their organizations have been suit targets in recent years.
And, not surprisingly, 74% ofthe HR
professionals checked off “disagree”or
“strongly disagree” when asked
whether the “majority of employment
related litigation cases today are legitimate claims.”
For a company, “it is not a question
of whether it will be sued, it is when it
will be sued,” says society board member Michael J. Lotito, who is managing partner of Jackson Lewis’s San
Francisco office. He adds: “You have
to come u p with preventive solutions.
(continued from previous page)
Northrop Grumman announced a
$11.3billion proposed merger in July.
The Defense Department, however,
immediately expressed concerns, and
the combination may force the companies to shed some assets to get gove r n m e n t approvals, which were
A
pending at press time.
11111
Human Resources
Needs ADR
The remedy for concerns over a survey showing a high number of employment suits is training a n d ADR,
according to a board member of an
85,000-member human resources professional group.
Of the 616 respondents to a recent
7. Who are the trainers and what is
their experience?
Are the trainers mediators themselves ?
I f s o , what kinds of cases do they mediate?How long have they mediated? How
long have they been trainers? Who have
they trained?
8. Have they trained neutrals with
backgrounds and needs similar to
yours?
Request names and phone numbers and
pursue these references.
9. Is the course open to non-lawyers?
Some mediator training programs are
open to business professionals who are
not legally trained and their participation can enliven the training. Howaver;
you will want to ascertain whether the
case studies and role-plays will focus on
commercial disputes.
10. Does the course satisfy any CLE
or court certification requirements
important to you?
@I
. . . Taking these matters before a jury
is not a sensible one. That is why ADR
is absolutely essential.”
The situation “showssigns of accelerating,” says Lotito, who adds that organizationsshould employboth mediation
and arbitration in appropriate situations
to handle the matters. He says his firm
also has been advocating expanded use
of peer review systems in light of criticism that arbitration involving employment questions is unfair to employees.
Lotito also says that it is “rather startling” that 79% of the human resources
professionals said they do not use ADR.
But he quickly adds that the number
“confirms a suspicion I’ve had in the
last five years that there has been a lot
of discussion of ADR, but that is what
it has been-discussion.”
The survey was released in June at
the society’s annual conference in San
Diego.
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