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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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DOI Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference



WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs is sponsoring and organizing an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference in San Francisco, California, that will bring together a variety of impressive speakers from the U.S. insular areas, including experienced ADR providers, judges, and lawyers to explore alternative dispute resolution procedures that could enable the islands to resolve disputes quickly, fairly, and cost-effectively.  The two-day conference will be held at the State Bar of California on May 18 and 19, 2011.   

ADR is a process increasingly used by many States and local governments to settle international, commercial or labor disputes without having to go directly through the courts.  With current restraints on local government budgets, court systems are finding it difficult to meet swelling demands.  In this regard, ADR could offer an innovative supplement to the judicial process that relieves some of the pressure on already overburdened court systems.

On the first day, the conference will feature Panel Discussions on:

  1. MEDIATION:  Overview of the mediation process, its purpose, benefits, when to bring a case to mediation, and how to deal with difficult negotiators.  
  2. ARBITRATION:  Innovative techniques to avoid costly litigation and streamline commercial arbitrations.
  3. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF ADR FOCUS SESSION:  An overview of various contract opportunities, ADR clauses, and government and private contracting and procurement.
  4. IMPLEMENTING ADR:  Approaches from the Federal Courts, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.
  5. FOSTERING ADR:  Guam's Unique Approach.
  6. CULTURE, LANGUAGE AND TRADITION:  Resolving disputes in the insular areas.

The second day will feature:

  1. INTERNATIONAL MEDIATION: Benefits of using mediation to resolve international disputes.
  2. INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: The resolution of a broad range of complex, high-stakes international disputes.
  3. NEXT STEPS:  ADR in the territories: learning from each other, channeling disputes to ADR, and making it work for our courts.

The Keynote Speakers will include:

  • Hon. Aliksa B. Aliksa, Chief Justice, Kosrae Supreme Court, Federated States of Micronesia
  • Robert B. Davidson, Esq., JAMS
  • Hon. Curtis V. Gomez, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court of the Virgin Islands or Alternate Judge
  • Bill Hebert, Calvo Fisher & Jacob, President of State Bar of California
  • Hon. Bruce McGiverin, Magistrate Judge, U.S.D.C. of Puerto Rico
  • Hon. Jose R. Negron-Fernandez, Chief Judge, La Rama Judicial de Puerto Rico
  • Martin Quinn, Esq., JAMS
  • Hon. Robert J. Torres, Justice, Supreme Court of Guam
  • Hon. Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court of Guam
  • Hon. Rebecca Westerfield, JAMS
  • Pat Wolff, Founder, Inafa Moulek
  • Cathy Yanni, Esq., JAMS

For more information, please write to ADRConference@ios.doi.gov or contact Ms. Jennifer Feng at 202-208-6974.  Ms. Krystina Borja may also assist you and may be reached at 202-219-8536.