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March 25, 2008

Eighth Annual Symposium on Dispute Resolution, April 4, 2008

Keynote features presentation on “Disclosure, apology, and mediation after medical errors.”

WHAT: Dispute Resolution Symposium
WHEN: Friday, April 4, 2008; 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Keynote 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
WHERE: Eidman Courtroom and Jury Room, UT School of Law
WHO: The public is invited to attend all presentations

A keynote address, “Disclosure, Apology and Mediation after Medical Errors,” will highlight the Eighth Annual Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution on Friday, April 4, 2008, at The University of Texas School of Law. The symposium will also feature seven UT graduate and law students presenting research on various dispute resolution topics.

The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at UT Law is hosting the symposium, which starts at 8:30 a.m. in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom and Jury Room. The public is invited to attend all symposium presentations.

The symposium culminates the eighth year of the interdisciplinary Graduate Portfolio Program in Dispute Resolution. Through this program, law and graduate students from ten different academic units at the University pursue a focused curriculum of theory, skills, and research on dispute resolution.

The keynote, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Eidman Courtroom, will feature Lee Taft, health care attorney and mediator, and Doug Wojcieszak, the founder and spokesperson of the Sorry Works! Coalition. Taft will introduce information about apology in both the broad legal context and in mediation before focusing more narrowly on apology within the disclosure movement. Wojcieszak will discuss the promotion of medical error disclosure, including the Sorry Works! Coalition’s organizational history and programs, as well as practical information about how to do medical error disclosure right.

UT Law Professor and UT Vice-Provost for Health Affairs Bill Sage will moderate a conversation between the keynote panelists, incorporating questions from the audience.

Taft has over twenty years experience as a plaintiff’s litigator and, more recently, received his master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. Taft collaborates with healthcare clients designing and implementing early intervention and disclosure programs and then integrating these programs with patient safety programs and litigation strategies. Taft’s recent publications include articles in the DePaul University Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, Loyola University’s Annals of Health Law, and the Yale Law Journal.

Wojcieszak is a public relations consultant with personal and professional experience with tort reform and medical malpractice issues, having lost his oldest brother to medical errors in 1998. In February 2005, Wojcieszak created the Sorry Works! Coalition dedicated to promoting apologies for medical errors and full-disclosure methods as a middle ground solution to the malpractice crisis. The group has been publicized in popular and trade publications including Time Magazine, National Review, National Law Journal, and American Medical Association News.

Sage holds the James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence at UT Law. He is co-editor of Medical Malpractice and the U.S. Health Care System (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care (Duke University Press, 2003).

Graduate students from the College of Education, LBJ School of Public Affairs, School of Law, and Cockrell School of Engineering will present their research which includes stakeholder support of environmental policy, international arbitration between states without formal relations, understanding administrators who mandate mediation, and the use of alternative dispute resolution in claims for damage caused by outer space objects. The public is invited to attend the student presentations which will be held in the Eidman Courtroom and Jury Room from 8:55 to 9:25 a.m. and 1:45 to 3:30 p.m.

The Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution is sponsored by the Construction Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections of the State Bar of Texas.

For a schedule of the symposium’s events and more information on dispute resolution, visit the website of the Graduate Portfolio Program in Dispute Resolution at
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/cppdr/portfolio/.

For information on the keynote speakers, go to the following websites:
http://www.taftsolutions.com
http://www.sorryworks.net/.

Event Contact: Hannah Norton, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, (512) 471-3507.