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ConocoPhillips Gates will receive CPR's 2007 corporate leadership award.

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66 ALTERNATIVES
VOL. 25 NO. 4
CPR NEWS • CPR NEWS • CPR NEWS
Editorial Board
KATHLEEN A. BRYAN
CONOCOPHILLIPS, GATES
WILL RECEIVE CPR’S 2007
CORPORATE LEADERSHIP AWARD
The International Institute for Conflict
Prevention and Resolution will present
its 2007 Corporate Leadership Award to
ConocoPhillips Co. and Stephen F.
Gates, the company’s general counsel.
The award will be given at a dinner
on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Cipriani 42nd
Street, in New York City.
A CPR member since 1981, ConocoPhillips is a pioneer in the corporate legal community's commitment to conflict
resolution practices and principles. Its
rigorous early evaluation and systematic
approach to litigation management has
resulted in an efficient legal department
and has increased shareholder value.
ConocoPhillips also is being recognized for its achievement in diversity, not
only in the legal department, but
throughout the company.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips traces
its history back more than 125 years, to
the founding of Continental Oil Co., in
Ogden, Utah. Continental became
Conoco, and now also includes the
Phillips 66 and 76 brands. The company
produces, refines, and sells petroleum
worldwide, and has substantial interests
in natural gas, chemicals, and plastic production and distribution.
Alternatives
TO THE HIGH COST OF LITIGATION
ConocoPhillips operates in more
than 40 countries, and has more than
38,000 employees. It reports assets of
$164 billion, and is traded on the New
York Stock Exchange.
Stephen Gates joined ConocoPhillips
in May 2003, as senior vice president, legal, and general counsel, from the partnership at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw
in Chicago. He is an oil industry veteran,
having served 23 years at BP and Amoco,
which merged a decade ago. He was BP's
executive vice president and group chief
of staff, after serving as Amoco's vice president and general counsel. He also served
as senior vice president and general counsel of FMC Corp. in 2000 to 2001.
Gates is a CPR Institute board member. He also is an American Bar Foundation fellow, and serves on the board of the
Houston Grand Opera, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, and the
Appleseed Foundation.
For
more
information,
see
www.conocophillips.com. Gates’ full
company biography can be found at
www.conocophillips.com/about/Leadership+Team/Stephen+F.+Gates.htm.
More information on table contributions for the Corporate Leadership
Award dinner will be available soon at
www.cpradr.org.
(continued on page 74)
Publishers:
Kathleen A. Bryan
International Institute for
Conflict Prevention and Resolution
Susan E. Lewis
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
APRIL 2007
Chair, Editorial Board
CPR Institute
New York
JOHN J. BOUMA
Snell & Wilmer
Phoenix
JAMIE BRODER
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky
& Walker
Los Angeles
A. STEPHENS CLAY
Kilpatrick Stockton
Atlanta
CATHY A. COSTANTINO
Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp.
Washington, D.C.
ROBERT A. CREO
Impartial Dispute
Resolution Services
Pittsburgh
LAURA EFFEL
Larkspur, Calif.
LAWRENCE J. FOX
Drinker, Biddle & Reath
Philadelphia
MARC GALANTER
CARRIE MENKELMEADOW
Georgetown University
Law Center
Washington, D.C.
ROBERT H. MNOOKIN
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Mass.
PAUL J. MODE JR.
Citigroup
New York
JAMES M. RINGER
Clifford Chance
New York
A. JAMES
ROBERTSON II
Superior Court of California
San Francisco
NANCY ROGERS
Ohio State University
College of Law
Columbus, Ohio
DAVID L. SANDBORG
City University
of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
University of Wisconsin
Law School
Madison, Wis.
FRANK E.A. SANDER
WHITMORE GRAY
IRENE C. WARSHAUER
Fordham University School
of Law/University of
Michigan Law School
New York
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Mass.
Fried & Epstein
New York
MELVYN I. WEISS
Milberg Weiss Bershad
Jeff Kichaven, A Professional & Schulman
New York
Corporation
Los Angeles
JEFF KICHAVEN
ROBERT S. WHITMAN
JEFFREY KRIVIS
First Mediation Corp.
Los Angeles
HARRY N.
MAZADOORIAN
Quinnipiac Law School
Hamden, Conn.
Orrick, Herrington &
Sutcliffe
New York
GERALD R. WILLIAMS
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
Editor:
Russ Bleemer
Jossey-Bass Editor:
David Famiano
Production Editor:
Ross Horowitz
Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation (Print ISSN 1549-4373, Online ISSN 1549-4381) is a newsletter published 11 times a year by the International Institute for
Conflict Prevention & Resolution and Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley Company, at Jossey-Bass. Jossey-Bass is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Editorial correspondence should be addressed to Alternatives, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, 575 Lexington Avenue, 21st Floor, New York,
NY 10022; E-mail: alternatives@cpradr.org.
Copyright © 2007 International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of any part of this work beyond that
permitted by Sections 7 or 8 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act without permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. Request for permission or further information should be addressed to the Permissions Department, c/o John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774; tel: 201.748.6011, fax:
201.748.6008; or visit www.wiley.com/go/permissions. Wiley Bicentennial Logo: Richard J. Pacifico.
For reprint inquiries or to order reprints please call 201.748.8789 or E-mail reprints@wiley.com.
The annual subscription price is $190.00 for individuals and $235.00 for institutions. International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution members receive
Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation as a benefit of membership. Members’ changes in address should be sent to Membership and Administration, International
Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, 575 Lexington Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10022. Tel: 212.949.6490, fax: 212.949.8859; e-mail: info@cpradr.org.
To order, please contact Customer Service at the address below, tel: 888.378.2537, or fax: 888.481.2665; E-mail: jbsubs@josseybass.com. POSTMASTER: Send address
changes to Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, Jossey-Bass, 989 Market Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741.
Visit the Jossey-Bass Web site at www.josseybass.com. Visit the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution Web site at www.cpradr.org.
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
Alternatives DOI: 10.1002/alt
74 ALTERNATIVES
VOL. 25 NO. 4 APRIL 2007
ADR Representation
(continued from previous page)
unauthorized practice of law; nor is arbitration generally considered part of a tribunal. Therefore, sudden state restrictions on the participation in such arbitrations, through pro hac vice admission or
numerical limits on appearances, are
highly suspect.
Such states would need to demonstrate
a substantial reason for the recent adoption
ADR v. the Bench
(continued from front page)
not have to make disclosures from the
bench. And the judge’s rulings can be appealed. It is perhaps another thing to contribute $10,000 to the campaign coffers of
a supreme court justice. Only impeachment or, in some states, a public referendum can remove a biased justice.
GOOD REASONS
There are good reasons to argue that arbitrators are more likely to be neutral than
judges: An arbitrator is in a private business enterprise. His or her reputation for
neutrality is a badge of honor, and an essential credential in getting business. Elected judges are no less honorable, but beholden to their constituency and have to
run for office and retention.
Once on the bench, it is hard to challenge a judge's neutrality based on campaign contributions. In fact, judges' biases
of such rules, particularly in light of the established nature of arbitration as an extrajudicial proceeding. Significantly, the effect
of imposing pro hac vice requirements and
the like is to make arbitration more akin to
traditional tribunals.
Finally, it cannot be overlooked that
these pro hac vice procedures impose a substantial financial burden on out-of-state
lawyers, as well as their clients. Once again,
the public welfare justification is unpersuasive because the practical effect of such regulation is to require duplicate lawyering in
a forum where the parties select the applicable rules of procedure and substantive law
and where local counsel will not be more
knowledgeable about the underlying facts.
In fact, the out-of-state lawyer does not
need guidance on procedural questions.
Given these considerations, economic
protectionism and restraint on competition emerge as the underlying explanation
for such regulation.
are perfectly well known to the litigants before them and to the extent they can, litigants judge-shop to get a more sympathetic ear.
commercial claims?
They would be paid by the parties; the
billing of each would be transparent to the
others. It would be understood that the
neutral, since it is her sole employment,
would be busy full-time with disputes generated by the parties as represented by their
lawyers. There would be repeat business
that would not have to be disclosed because it would be expected. Labor-management arbitrators are always seeing repeat
parties and counsel. Their duty of disclosure runs only to disclosing personal relationships, whether they currently serve as
an advocate for any party, and whether
they have maintained or maintain any
managerial, representational or consultative relationship with a party.
It is assumed they have repeat business
because that is what they do for a living.
But the day that full-time neutrals in the
commercial law field are given the same
distance and treated with the same respect
as judges hasn’t yet arrived.
PROMOTING FULL TIMERS
Judges and arbitrators are equally susceptible to predisposition. But differentiate predisposition from bias: Everyone has preferences, likes and dislikes, moral values and
political beliefs. That, in part, is why mediation got started in the first place—to
avoid the wild card result of a disinterested
but all-too-human judge or jury.
Arbitration began in the world of
unique trades, to keep internecine disputes
within the trade, to be resolved by a person
of that trade knowledgeable in the rules
and about the players. Arbitration has morphed out of that world, into the world of
labor-management, and finally into the
world of commerce at large. Why not create a sworn cadre of full-time, certified
neutrals, who take an oath of office and
whose sole job it is to arbitrate or mediate
DOI 10.1002/alt.20175
(For bulk reprints of this article,
please call (201) 748-8789.)
DOI 10.1002/alt.20172
(For bulk reprints of this article,
please call (201) 748-8789.)
CPR NEWS • CPR NEWS • CPR NEWS
(continued from page 66)
NEXT MONTH: CPR’S THIRD
ANNUAL EUROPEAN CONGRESS
The CPR Institute will hold its Third
Annual European Congress on Business
Dispute Management at the Westin Hotel in Paris in May.
The two-day meeting—which will
provide attendees with New York state
continuing legal education credit hours—
will open with a breakfast at 9:00 a.m. on
Thursday, May 10, and will conclude at
1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 11. The meeting is open to individuals at CPR member
companies and law firms, and members of
CPR’s Panels of Distinguished Neutrals.
Registration information is available
at www.cpradr.org.
In addition, CPR is conducting a
full-day workshop on cross-cultural ne-
gotiation on May 8, the day before the
meeting.
The agenda includes the following
sessions:
•
•
•
Using facilitators to create value at
any stage of a deal.
The corporate ADR pledge: A vital
new tool for European business?
Best practices in insurance: Managing
disputes with policyholders and with
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
Alternatives DOI: 10.1002/alt
VOL. 25 NO.
NO.44 APRIL
APRIL2007
2007
ALTERNATIVES 75
CPR NEWS • CPR NEWS • CPR NEWS
•
•
•
•
•
other insurers.
Is international arbitration beyond
repair?
International arbitration rules: What
do the various providers provide?
How do their rules differ? Which
should I select?
Developing business dispute management in developing business markets.
The continuing challenge of judicial
support for extrajudicial dispute resolution.
Dispute management for global corporations' through early case assessment.
Meeting sponsors includes Northrop
Grumman Corp.; Darrois Villey Maillot
Brochier; Nestle France; Eversheds, and
Gide Loyrette Nouel. CPR also has acknowledged QBE European Operations,
and Herbert Smith LLP, for their support
of the CPR Institute European Congress
invitational brochure and coursebook.
The special one-day cross-cultural negotiation workshop will be conducted by
ITIM International of Stockholm. Using
Geert Hofstede’s “5-D Model,” the workshop will give participants an understanding of the challenges of working in an international practice. The workshop will
equip participants with tools to better
recognize, understand, and effectively
deal with intercultural experiences, and
to function efficiently and effectively
within another cultural environment. ALTERNATIVES BOOK
NOW ON AMAZON
Alternatives’ compilation, “Mediation:
Approaches and Insights,” is now available at Amazon.com.
“Mediation: Approaches and Insights”—edited by Russ Bleemer, who is
the newsletter's editor—is a compilation
of updated practice articles from Alternatives that were published originally between 1995 and 2005. It features analysis
on mediation practices from leading
practitioners. The book includes cuttingedge mediation techniques, trends, and
development of the law of ADR.
Juris Publishing, of Huntington,
N.Y., is still offering CPR Institute members a special 30% discount. CPR members can buy the book by logging into the
Members Only area of the CPR site at
www.cpradr.org, and getting the discount password.
In addition, Juris is offering a 5% discount to members of the general public
at www.jurispub.com.
The collection of think pieces, investigations, and practical guidance
demonstrates the evolution of commercial mediation practice. The articles include analysis of the profession's
changes, process design structures, and
court cases.
The volume—more than 300 pages,
with introductions to six topical sections
featuring 43 articles—provides basic
skills; advanced techniques and tricks of
the trade; examples of mediation's application to traditional and unconventional
settings; advocacy-in-mediation practices; process and system design help, and
legal developments.
The articles, adapted and updated
from the pages of Alternatives—which
the CPR Institute has produced for corporate counsel and law firms since 1983,
and co-publishes with Jossey-Bass, a unit
of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.—provide a
comprehensive portrait of the state of
current business mediation use, and project the practice's future course.
In addition to Amazon and the Juris
sites, “Mediation: Approaches and Insights” can be ordered from Juris Publishing Inc. at (800) 887-4064, in the U.S.
and Canada, or (631) 350-0200.
•
•
•
•
CPR COMMITTEES & TRAININGS
The CPR Institute has had a variety of
committee gatherings and trainings recently:
•
On March 6, CPR President/Alternatives Publisher Kathleen A. Bryan
served as a co-host of a daylong seminar called “New Tools and Strategies
for Today’s Law Department Reality–How to Improve Efficiency and
Reduce Costs Without Lifting a Fin-
•
ger or Spending a Dime.” The program, held at Kelley Drye in New
York, was sponsored by the Law Department Consortium LLC, a
Prescott, Ariz.-based, invitation-only,
group of in-house law departments
and representatives that use aggregate
purchasing power for law department supplies and services. CPR was
the sole cooperating organization for
the program.
The CPR International Commission
on Patent Disputes met on March
6, and discussed patent panel applications. The meeting was held in
the New York office of host Seyfarth
Shaw LLP. David L. Newman, a
Chicago Seyfarth Shaw partner, made
a presentation proposing a patent auction process that would include a neutral’s evaluation of the merits and value of a patent.
CPR Senior Vice President F. Peter
Phillips spoke at two sessions of the
American Bar Association Section of
Business Law Spring Meeting events
in Washington, D.C. Phillips appeared on March 16 panels, presented
by the section’s Committee on Corporate Counsel, titled “Effective Dispute
and Litigation Management for Small
Law Departments,” and “Drafting
Dispute Resolution Clauses that
Work for Your Corporate Client.”
A March 16 telephone conference
call meeting of the 57-member Energy, Oil & Gas Neutrals Subcommittee considered membership of neutrals on the CPR Energy, Oil & Gas
panel.
A March 23 meeting of the Insurance Neutrals Subcommittee of the
Corporate Insurance Coverage
Committee also focused on the requirements of candidates for membership on CPR’s Insurance panel.
The meeting was hosted by insurance giant American International
Group in New York.
CPR’s Excellence in ADR Ethics
CLE training, which provided attendees with three New York state Ethics
CLE credits, was scheduled to be
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
Alternatives DOI: 10.1002/alt
(continued on next page)
76 ALTERNATIVES
VOL. 25 NO. 4 APRIL 2007
CPR News
(continued from previous page)
held March 29 at CPR’s offices in
New York. The program has two tentative 2007 dates for repeat sessions.
For the latest schedule of training sessions, check the CPR home page link
for “CLE & Training Programs InHouse and Online” (Direct link:
www.cpradr.org/CLE_OnLine.asp?M
=8.4). The ethics programs take place
at the CPR Institute’s office in New
York, and can be presented on-site. For
more information, contact Helena
Tavares Erickson, CPR’s senior vice
president for committees, research and
education, at herickson@cpradr.org.
resolution processes. Successful completion of the training will put participants on track to be approved as an
associate, and ultimately a fellow, of
the Chartered Institute. The two-day
session will provide 11 Skills and one
Ethics CLE credit under New York
state CLE Board rules. For the full
agenda, visit the “CLE & Training
Programs In-House and Online” page
on CPR’s Web site noted above.
CPR committees are seeking input
and new members. For more information, please E-mail info@cpradr.org, or
visit CPR’s committees page at
www.cpradr.org/Landing.asp?M=4.0. CPR has more committee, training,
and ADR events planned:
UPDATE: CPR’S REINSURANCE
PROTOCOL GETS AN NYC DEBUT
•
CPR’s recent International Reinsurance
Industry Dispute Resolution Protocol has
been attracting attention and interest on
both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The protocol comes from an April
2005 meeting held at the offices of QBE
International Ltd., in London, which was
attended by several prominent insurance
companies. The group, according to the
CPR Web site, investigated areas in which
work was needed in resolving inter-company insurance industry disputes.
The industry representatives settled
on developing best practices for disputes
between reinsurers and ceding companies
that “address the most common sources
of waste and inefficiency.”
The protocol can be found under the
Insurance/Reinsurance section at the “Industries & Practice Groups” link in the
left column of CPR’s home page at
www.cpradr.org.
The protocol was launched with a seminar and reception at Lloyd’s in London
last October. See “Reinsurance Protocol
Gets a London Introduction,” CPR News,
24 Alternatives 162 (November 2006).
In February, CPR held a similar event
in New York, hosted by the New York office of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge
LLP, a CPR member law firm. Panelists
included Joanne Howell, of American International Group in New York; Harold
Moskowitz, a name partner in New York’s
Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman &
•
•
•
•
CPR’s Arbitration Committee will
meet on April 17 on proposed
changes to CPR Arbitration rules focusing on interim relief. The meeting
will be hosted by the New York office
of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &
Flom LLP, a CPR member law firm.
CPR’s Diversity Task Force will meet
on April 27 in Washington, D.C. For
more information, contact CPR Senior Vice President F. Peter Phillips at
pphillips@cpradr.org.
CPR is a cooperating entity in the
American Bar Association Section of
International Law’s Spring Meeting, at
the Fairmont Hotel in Washington,
D.C., May-1-May 5. For information,
see www.abanet.org/intlaw/spring07/
home.html.
CPR will hold a special regional program next month for ADR professionals in the San Francisco area. The
event will be held on May 24 at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP
in San Francisco. The program agenda will be announced soon at
www.cpradr.org.
On May 31-June 1, CPR’s joint arbitrator training with the London-based
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, for
practicing attorneys, will return, after
two sold-out sessions last fall. The
Chartered Institute is a 91-year-old
membership organization for arbitrators that promotes quality in dispute
Dicker, and Edwards, Angell partner Vincent Vitkowsky.
Also on the panel were Paul Moss, of
London insurer QBE European Operations, who has spearheaded the European
promotional efforts for the protocol, and
F. Peter Phillips, a CPR senior vice president, who has been a liaison and organizer for the protocol group’s work.
Beyond the public events, the protocol has received considerable insurance
industry discussion since the launch.
London-based trade publication Insurance Day featured the protocol in a cover
story on Nov. 17. More recently, a January article in Insurance Journal, a San
Diego bimonthly, reported that Lloyd’s
had endorsed the protocol, calling it “effectively a ‘statement of intent’ designed
to be included in agreements up front
outlining a clear set of procedures to be
followed in the event of a dispute.”
Paul Moss also wrote a bylined editorial in December in Post Magazine, a London insurance periodical, urging support
for and adoption of the protocol.
CPR AT THE
ABA DR SECTION
ANNUAL MEETING
Later this month, the CPR Institute will
be represented in several sessions at “ADR
in Bloom,” the ninth annual American
Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference.
The event is scheduled for April 2528 at Washington, D.C.’s Omni Shoreham Hotel.
CPR will participate in a special allday “Forum on Expanding Opportunities
for Minorities and Women in Dispute
Resolution,” on April 25. CPR President
Kathleen A. Bryan will present on the
CPR National Task Force on Diversity in
ADR. CPR established the task force last
year to adopt “initiatives to increase the
ethnic, gender, and social diversity of mediators, arbitrators, and those involved in
alternative dispute resolution.” For more
information, see CPR News, 24 Alternatives 162 (November 2006), and CPR’s
home page at www.cpradr.org.
Also during the Expanding Opportunities Forum, Neal Blacker, CPR’s senior
vice president for dispute resolution serv-
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
Alternatives DOI: 10.1002/alt
VOL. 25 NO. 4 APRIL 2007
ALTERNATIVES 77
ices and cases, will join a panel called
“ADR Providers Walking the Talk.”
Among the conference sessions, on
Thursday, April 26, Helena Tavares Erickson, CPR’s senior vice president for
committees, research and education, and
CPR Senior Fellow Nancy Nelson, will
make up half the panel for a morning session, “Arbitration Is Not Litigation: Using Process Differences and Techniques
from Other Legal Systems to Make the
Most of Your International Arbitration
Case.” Representatives from the Londonbased Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,
and the law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP,
will join them on the panel.
Former CPR president Thomas J. Stipanowich, who is now academic director
at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Malibu, Calif.’s Pepperdine University School of Law, will participate in
an April 26 afternoon session, “Neutral
Roles in a Changing ADR Landscape:
Med/Arb and other Emerging Issues
‘Along the Borderline.’” He will be joined
by Phillip Armstrong, principal counsel,
ADR and litigation, at Atlanta’s GeorgiaPacific Corp., which has long been active
in CPR activities. Prof. Maureen Weston
of Pepperdine also will be on the panel.
The ABA meeting also will have a special preconference Institute for Mass and
Class Action Dispute Resolution. The allday seminar, on April 26, will address best
practices in resolving mass claims. It will
include six sessions dealing with issues including ADR in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the role of negotiation and
mediation in mass claims, and the inhouse perspective.
For registration information, go to
www.abanet.org/dispute.
DOI 10.1002/alt.20173
(For bulk reprints of this article,
please call (201) 748-8789.)
ADR BRIEFS • ADR BRIEFS • ADR BRIEFS
KEY ADR WEB DOMAINS ARE
IN PLAY—AT A STEEP PRICE
An early player in Internet dispute resolution is auctioning itself, ending a decadelong run for a Georgia attorney-entrepreneur as a high-tech services provider.
The company’s sale intriguingly puts into play two desirable World Wide Web addresses, mediation.com and arbitration.com.
Major ADR providers have been on
notice since last year, when T.K. Read,
president of Conyers, Ga.’s Global Arbitration Mediation Association Inc., began
sending out E-mails. Read has targeted
more than two dozen big ADR providers,
online companies, and media outlets in order to drum up interest in the business she
started in 1995.
Great domain names come at a great
price. Read is asking $525,000 for the
company and the two domains. She says
she arrived at the price after consulting
with her company’s board. The current
price, however, has dropped from earlier
solicitations to buy the company-domains
package at $675,000.
She says that the board has agreed to
sell the domains separately if the “Internet
real estate,” as she calls it, can’t be sold as a
package with Global Arbitration, and its
URL, GAMA.com.
At press time, the sales pitch was scheduled to end. Read said she would begin an
Ebay Inc. auction the last week of this
month, and run it for seven to 10 days. She
won’t reveal the minimum acceptable bid,
which her most recent E-mail solicitation
says “will be a slight reserve set above” the
current asking price.
“Prior to that time,” notes Read in the
March 5 E-mail, “GAMA is open to purchase by negotiation, in which case no auction shall be held.”
Aiming high may not be a bad idea,
since domain names may be hot again.
DN Journal, which surveys domain name
sales, reported that 67 domain names
changed hands in February’s third week,
about three times the normal weekly tally.
The week included a record number of
five-figure or higher value names sold in a
seven-day period. See www.dnjournal.com,
which also notes that there have been wide
domain name demand fluctuations from
week to week this year.
The biggest recent auction price, the
journal reported, was more than $185,000
for Freehoroscope.com. But prices can soar
for generic names like those GAMA is auctioning. Last year, vodka.com was sold for
$3 million. In May 2006, Diamond.com
reportedly sold for $7.5 million to jewelry
retailer Ice.com. And, at the 1999 height of
the Internet bubble, Business.com sold for
$7.5 million.
The response has been “very positive,”
says Read, “and there is lot of interest in
GAMA as a whole.” She declines to comment on whether she has received any offers.
While the market will determine
whether there is interest in GAMA, a payto-play online portal that provides a searchable listing of neutrals, there’s no doubt that
the mediation.com and arbitration.com
availability have caught the eye of some of
the conflict resolution profession’s top companies and organizations–above and beyond
the need to delete the spam-like E-mails.
But the targets of Read’s pitch to sell
the GAMA package aren’t revealing their
negotiating strategies or auction plans, if
any. Calls and E-mails to five top sales targets either were ignored or received terse
“no comment” replies.
“I always wondered what would happen when these domain names came back
into circulation,” says an official at a big
Web ADR provider who declined to be
identified. “I guess I surmised they'd end
up purchased in kind of a quiet, backroom
deal at some ABA conference or something. I never guessed that they'd be shilled
relentlessly through mass E-mails.”
The Internet executive added, “You
have to hand it to the seller, she really
knows how to get the word out to her target market.”
Says T.K. Read, “It will be interesting
to see what happens at the auction.”
Read sounded a little reluctant in going
forward with the sale, attributing it to a
confluence of market opportunity, expansion of her solo litigation practice, and
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
Alternatives DOI: 10.1002/alt
(continued on next page)
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