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March 29, 2010

Tenth annual dispute resolution spring symposium features keynote on the future of civil justice, March 31, 2010

WHAT: Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution featuring keynote speaker Thomas Stipanowich
WHEN: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, from 9:15 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.; Keynote address is from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
WHERE: Eidman Courtroom, UT School of Law
WHO: The public is invited to attend all presentations

Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Thomas Stipanowich, a leader in the field of conflict resolution, will discuss the future of civil justice at the Tenth Annual Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at the University of Texas School of Law.

The symposium, hosted by the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas School of Law, will also feature thirteen UT graduate and law students presenting research on various dispute resolution topics.   The student presentations and the keynote address are free and open to the public.

Stipanowich will give the symposium’s keynote address, “Rethinking Civil Justice: The Search for Choice and Flexibility in Public and Private Processes,” in the Eidman Courtroom at 10:30 a.m.

Graduate students from the Cockrell School of Engineering, LBJ School of Public Affairs, and the Law School will present their research on topics including domestic violence issues in mediation; dispute resolution in construction; cooperative law; and dispute resolution in Texas’s immigration debate in the Eidman Courtroom and Jury Room from 9:15 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

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

The Spring Symposium on Dispute Resolution is sponsored by the Construction Law section and the ADR section of the State Bar of Texas.  For a schedule of the symposium’s events and to find more information on dispute resolution go to the website of the Graduate Portfolio Program in Dispute Resolution:

About the keynote speaker:

Thomas J. Stipanowich, JD, is a leader in the field of conflict resolution. He is an award-winning author and much-cited authority on arbitration, mediation, and other subjects; the director of one of the world’s preeminent academic programs on dispute resolution; the former chief executive of another prestigious international institution; a popular teacher and trainer; a respected and widely experienced arbitrator and mediator; and the winner of several of the dispute resolution field’s highest honors, including the American Bar Association’s prestigious D’Alemberte/Raven Award. He holds Pepperdine School of Law’s endowed chair in dispute resolution, the William H. Webster Chair.

About the keynote presentation, “Rethinking Civil Justice: The Search for Choice and Flexibility in Public and Private Processes:

The high cost and delay associated with U.S. litigation has dramatically reduced the number of trials. For similar reasons many complain about the “new litigation”—binding arbitration.  There is an unprecedented wave of new initiatives proposing dramatic changes in our approach to adjudication, from the American College of Trial Lawyers’ proposal to move beyond a “one-size-fits-all” approach to discovery and trial preparation, to the draft Economical Litigation Agreement for Business Contracts, to new Protocols offering guidelines on promoting economy and efficiency in arbitration.   At the same time, concerns about the fairness of arbitration programs for consumers and employees has stimulated mounting efforts to outlaw pre-dispute arbitration agreements, and the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act has encouraged scrutiny of arbitration processes and the exploration of alternative ways of resolving consumer and employment disputes.   

Event Contact:

Mary Gaski, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, UT Law, 512-471-3507

Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or